Drilon warns: 2022 nat’l budget can be used to fuel presidential ambitions

Drilon warns: 2022 nat’l budget can be used to fuel presidential ambitions

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — Amid concerns that it would be used for the presidential election in 2022,
Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon asked the help of the
Filipino people to guard the 2022 national budget and vowed to shave
the excess fat in the final budget of the Duterte administration.

“I must put a warning: everyone should watch out because next year is
an election year,” Drilon said Thursday.

“The most important piece of legislation in the coming Congress is the
budget. The budget is a major instrument for the recovery of our
economy. Therefore, next year will be very critical in terms of the
budget, because, first, 2022 is an election year, and, second, next
year is critical for our economic recovery,” Drilon stressed.

“We have to make sure the money collected from the taxes are spent
properly and not for purposes of the election,” he added.

The Senate chief fiscalizer appealed to economic managers not to let
those who will try to use the budget to fuel their political
ambitions.

“I hope that our economic managers will not get influenced by
political whims that will dictate the allocation of very limited
resources next year,” he said.

Aside from being an election year, Drilon underscored that 2022 will
be critical for the country’s recovery from the effects of the
pandemic.

“We have a very limited resource. Putting the resources in the right
places is critical in our recovery from the pandemic. We need
resources because of the pandemic. The economy suffered. A lot are
unemployed. A lot are hungry. Our economy shrunk. All of these are
because of the mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Drilon reiterated.

Drilon said the people must watch out for excess fats in the budget,
citing, for instance, the allocation for the anti-insurgency campaign
which he previously tagged as “Malacanang’s pork barrel.”

Drilon had earlier warned that the National Task Force to End Local
Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) would propose an increase in
their budget next year, and vowed to oppose it “tooth and nail.”

“This is the kind of excess fat that can be cut. We must shave the
excess fat in the budget and devote it to resources that are needed
like funding the ayuda or social amelioration program,” he said.

To me, the anti-insurgency fund is totally unnecessary. Pork barrel
lang iyon. We can devote it to 4Ps or the ayuda which is totally
unfunded,” he added. (AI/MTN)

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