DILG budget escapes House scrutiny

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The proposed P124 billion budget of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) for 2016 was no longer scrutinized when it was presented before the House Appropriations panel.

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This was because former Western Samar Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento had just taken over the DILG portfolio from fellow Liberal Party (LP) member Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd.

It was Rep. Rufus Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro who moved that the House Appropriations panel no longer question the DILG budget.

“One of our most competent, most outstanding colleagues had been appointed by the President as DILG Secretary. It has been the tradition of this committee that if the new member of the Cabinet is a member of Congress and his budget will be presented to the committee, then we dispense with the briefing and we just go to the plenary. I therefore move that we dispense with the budget briefing,” Rodriguez said.

House Appropriations panel Chairman Isidro Ungab said the committee can do away with the questioning but not the presentation of the DILG budget in detail.

DILG Undersecretary Austere Panadero presented his department’s budget that allocated P93.952 billion for personnel services, P24.602 billion for maintenance and other operating expenses, and P5.598 billion for capital outlay.

The DILG budget broken by agency is as follows: 13 billion for DILG proper, P88 billion for the Philippine National Police, P11 billion for the Bureau of Fire Protection, P8 billion for the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), P1.46 billion for the National Police Commission, P1.610 billion for the Philippine Public Safety College and P258 million for Local Government Academy.

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