Press Release
September 24, 2019

Transcript of Interview with Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon

Q: On the alleged pork barrel in 2020 budget

Drilon: He based that on information relayed to him. My take is, I will wait for the budget as passed by the House and I will compare it with the President's budget and see what are the insertions made. Makikita naman iyan, especially when the alignments are not coming from the agencies. We will see. I don't want to comment until I see it.

Q: You will be guarding against it?

Drilon: Yes, certainly. Last year, the reason why the budget was delayed was that there was about P90 billion addition to the DPWH budget, which the Public Works Secretary said he didn't know what it was. It was apparently added after the bicam report was finished. We were able to catch it, scrutinize it and recommend the exercise of a line item veto. We will do the same exercise.

Q: If it is proven to be true, what does it say about the HoR?

Drilon: I just want to see the budget first. I don't think it is proper to comment on the behavior of the other house. We will just look at the document and if in our best judgment it does not serve public interest, we will do what is necessary.

Q: On the consolidation of housing budget into one department

Drilon: Because we want to know how much the budget really is for the housing sector. It would appear that across the bureaucracy, other than the department of housing, are appropriations for housing, particularly in the DILG, DPWH, DOTR, Marawi. So if we ask, how much is the budget for the housing sector, you cannot just rely to the budget given to the department of housing. What has been proposed is the consolidation of the housing budget into the department of housing, so that they will be answerable, without anymore the delay of entering into MOAs with different departments. Then we will be able to see at a glance how much support is the government giving to the housing sector.

Q: The whole process will be more efficient?

Drilon: It will be efficient, because the bureaucratic delay that results from the transfer of funds from one agency to another will be avoided and we will all have it in the budget.

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