Senate slashes P24B from P28.1B anti-insurgency budget for 2022

Senate slashes P24B from P28.1B anti-insurgency budget for 2022

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — Senator Edgardo Angara confirmed on Tuesday that the Senate
slashed around P24.11 billion from the P28.11 billion budget of the
National Task Force To End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC)
for 2022 national appropriations.

In a virtual press conference, Angara, chairman of the Senate
committee on finance said that the slashed amount is part of the P100
billion to P150 billion being deducted from all agencies,
instrumentalities and government-owned and controlled corporation
(GOCCs) to fund anti-COVID response including preparation of possible
outbreak of new variant next year.

Angara also said that they also included in the budget the special
allowances for health care workers and other measures to contain the
spread of the deadly virus.

“It’s about P100 billion to P150 billion the total budget cuts from
all agencies since health are now our priority,” Angara said.

Angara said that the submitted budget of NTF-ELCAC was P30.46 billion,
of which, P28.1 billion were appropriated under the Local Government
Support Fund- Support to the Barangay Development Program (LGSF-SBDP).

Another P2.3 billion were distributed across various agencies to cover
the administrative and operational expenses.

“In the Senate committee report version, the P28.1 billion allocation
for the LGSF-SBDP was reduced to P4.11 billion (minus P24 billion),”
Angara said.

For 2021,the NTF-ELCAC has P19.33 billion total approved
appropriations, of which, P16.4 billion is under the LGSF-SBDP and
P29 billion distributed across various agencies to cover
administrative and operational expenses.

Meanwhile, Angara said that they added a special provision in the
2022 National Budget to avoid repetition of multi-billion budget
parking at the Procurement Services- Department of Budget and
Management (PS-DBM), which is not under investigation by the Senate
Blue Ribbon Committee on overpriced purchase of medical supplies for
DOH.

“Under the Committee Report, there is a proposed amendment to Section
61 of General Provisions which states that “all balances of fund
transfers between agencies, instrumentalities, GOCCs, and Local
Government Units (LGUs), which while obligated, but not actually
used, utilized, expended, or distributed to pay for completed
constructions, goods delivered, and services rendered, inspected and
accepted as of December 31, 2023, shall revert to the unappropriated
surplus of the General Fund,” Angara said.

“This is to avoid the issue of agencies “parking” their funds within
the PS-DBM and PITC,” Angara said. (AI/MTVN)

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