SENATE Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon on Sunday expressed confidence his colleagues would support his proposal to require every amendment to the proposed 2018 national budget to be presented and scrutinized in open session.
“We should discuss every amendment to the budget in open session,” Drilon said in an interview with DZBB on Sunday.
Unlike past practices where amendments were submitted through the committee, Drilon explained that each senator, who wants to submit an amendment, would now have to present it on the floor for the chamber’s consideration.
“We will discuss and scrutinize them item-for-item in the spirit transparency,” he said.
According to Drilon, the budget, considered the most important piece of legislation that Congress makes every year, “should be discussed in an open and transparent manner.”
“It is about time that we provide some light into the budget process,” Drilon said.
His proposal, Drilon added, will ease fears about legislators trying to hide “pork barrel” in the budget.
“Every year legislators are accused of hiding pork barrel elsewhere. We can easily disprove and bury that accusation by making the budget process more transparent,” Drilon said.
Drilon said that he, too, would propose various amendments to the budget, including the re-alignment of about P1.4 billion in anti-illegal drug campaign budget to support the housing program for personnel of the Philippine National Police.
The senator said there was no reason for legislators to be ashamed of proposing amendments in the open if it was for the best interest of the people.