Press Release
December 9, 2013

Cayetano: 'Let's make the budget bicam interactive, 'netizen-friendly'

"Kahit sino ka man, nasaan ka man, karapatan mong makialam. Sama-sama nating bantayan ang paggamit ng kaban ng bayan."

Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter "Companero" S. Cayetano is strongly urging that the bicameral conference committee use social media to make the deliberations this week on Bicameral Conference Committee on the proposed 2014 General Appropriations Act (GAA) more "interactive."

The senator made the call as the whole country commemorates the National Anti-Corruption Day today which, he said, should remind all Filipinos to remain vigilant against graft in government.

"We could make this exercise more transparent and interactive by using social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to get feedback, suggestions from ordinary Filipinos and netizens," Cayetano said.

"Nakatutok ang buong sambayanan sa bawat galaw ng ating pamahalaan, lalo na ngayong naisisiwalat ang mga katiwalian sa paggamit ng pondo ng bayan. Kaya buo ang aking suporta na buksan sa publiko ang pag-uusap sa national budget upang ipakita na wala tayong itinatago sa usapin ng pananalapi ng bansa."

He proposed the bicam committee to use facebook and Twitter accounts to engage the public in a more interactive way and give real time updates on the proceedings.

"Social media can be used to promote a healthy engagement on public policy. Never has the Filipino people been more empowered to have their voices heard in high places in government than now, with all the avenues being made available by social media."

Cayetano said this proposal is in support of the move of Sen. Francis Escudero, chair of the Committee on Finance, to have the bicam deliberations on the budget open to the public and be streamed live through the internet.

All of these, he explained, will greatly help in making the bicam deliberations on the budget accessible to the public and consequently leave no room for doubt in the Filipino people's minds.

"This will help in restoring the faith and confidence of the people in the Senate and in the House of Representatives."

The majority leader is one of the members of the Senate contingent to the bicam panel, which is set to meet next week to harmonize disagreeing provisions between the Senate and House versions of the proposed budget for next year.

Cayetano, who is the author of Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 4 which sought to abolish pork barrel in all its forms, is seeking a pork-free, insertions-free 2014 national budget.

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