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Palace hopeful 2021 budget bill will be passed on time

House leaders have given assurances that the issue over the chamber's leadership would not delay the passage of the budget......»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarSep 27th, 2020

Roque to Congress: Consult Palace on increasing budget for vaccines

Any congressional move to raise the proposed 2021 budget for the coronavirus vaccine should at least be done in consultation with the Executive branch, according to a Palace official.  Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (RESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said while they respect Congress’ wisdom to hike the vaccine budget for the next year, the issue on its funding source must also be addressed. “The power of purse is vested in Congress. We will bow to the wisdom of Congress should they deem it fit to increase the budget for the vaccine, and of course, may pagkukuhanan po iyan (there will be a funding source for that),” he said during a Palace press briefing Thursday. “So we hope that Congress will at least confer with the Executive kung saan nila kukunin iyong pondo para itaas ang budget for the vaccine (on where the funds will be obtained to raise the budget for the vaccine),” he added. Nonetheless, Roque affirmed the administration’s resolve to ensure the country has adequate funds for the vaccine procurement once the life-saving drug becomes available.“We join Congress in our desire that we should have sufficient funds to pay for the vaccine, which according po to (Philippine) Ambassador (to China) Chito (Sta. Romana) is really forthcoming in the near future,” he said.The House of Representatives has reportedly introduced several amendments to its approved 2021 national budget, including a higher budget for the purchase of COVID vaccines to P8 billion.  In the original Palace-backed P4.5 trillion national budget proposal, at least P2.5 billion has been allocated for the COVID-19 vaccination program under the Department of Health’s budget. House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, who leads a small group in charge of amendments to the budget bill, said the additional P5.5 billion to augment the vaccine budget aims to ensure safe and effective vaccine will be available to Filipinos. “This is to support President Rodrigo Duterte’s program to strengthen the country’s health care system. We believe that vaccines play a very crucial role in keeping the population safe and healthy from the pandemic,” the Leyte lawmaker said.  On the part of the Senate, Senator Panfilo Lacson disclosed plans to increase funding for the coronavirus vaccine under the proposed 2021 national budget. Last week, the President said the government has the funds to buy the coronavirus vaccine once it is available but would need more money to vaccinate all Filipinos. Duterte earlier vowed to give priority to the poor, the police and military personnel in the distribution of free vaccines.  He said the country will buy the most affordable vaccine to be sold in the market given the government’s limited resources. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2020

Lacson frowns at ‘pork hunter’ tag

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson, a staunch anti-pork barrel advocate, does not like the name ‘’pork hunter’’ ascribed to him. Senator Panfilo M. Lacson (SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) ‘’I don’t like it. I’m just doing my job,’’ Lacson said as he disagreed with Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III who had presumed ‘’regularity’’ on the “institutional amendments’’ by the House of Representatives (HoR) on the proposed 2021 General Appropriations Bill (GAB or national budget) after the House recently passed the measure on third and final reading. Lacson and Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon had cited some P326 billion ‘’lump sum’’ appropriations tucked in the proposed P666-billion budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). Both cited a Supreme Court decision that lump sum appropriations are unconstitutional. Lump sum appropriations are suspected as ‘’pork barrel’’ appropriations. Lacson has been on the prowl every budget season, picking out suspected pork barrel appropriations in the GAB. The Senate is expected to receive from the House a soft copy of the budget on Oct. 28. Asked during an ANC interview if he believes a statement of Speaker Lord Allan Velasco that there is no pork in the GAB, only institutional amendments, Lacson replied: ‘’We have yet to see the transmitted copy of the GAB as approved on third and final reading, as transmitted to the Senate.’’ ‘’Until we see that, we cannot really tell or say if there’s pork or not in the House of Representatives version of the budget.’’ On a query whether amending budget after third and final reading is unconstitutional, Lacson said: ‘’That is clearly unconstitutional.’’ ‘’It’s very clear, there’s no other interpretation in that provision under the Constitution that after the third and final reading of any bill, including the GAB, no amendment shall be allowed thereto,’’ he said. ‘’I don’t see any other interpretation of that particular provision. So since they already passed on third reading the HoR version of the GAB, I see no reason why they will allow a small committee to introduce further amendments. Based on what I heard from Rep. Eric Yap, the Appropriations committee chairman, he said the amendments will not be coming from the congressmen but from the agencies,’’ he stated. ‘’Again, that’s another violation. We have a four-phase budget process. Budget preparation, authorization, execution, and accountability. We are now in the authorization phase. And only the Congress of the Philippines is allowed to participate in the authorization phase. Tapos na ang sa (the) Executive department (has completed its job in the) preparation phase. Ang execution, after napirmahan ng Presidente ang enrolled bill and when DBM starts disbursing allocations, doon mag-start ang execution. So agencies under the Executive branch cannot be allowed to participate in the authorization phase of the budget process. Sotto had said that he would presume regularity after the House made institutional amendments worth P20 billion, including P5.5 billion, for COVID-19 vaccines. Lacson stressed that amendments to the budget by the House small committee is unconstitutional. ‘’To say there’s presumption of regularity, I think it’s misplaced. If that is the output of the small committee and they will include these amendments in the USB drive they will transmit to us on Oct. 28, then we cannot presume regularity, with all due respect to my Senate President…because if it is based on an unconstitutional act, I cannot presume regularity,’’ he added......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2020

Rice farmers seek bigger financial aid

The one-time financial assistance that the Senate directed the Department of Agriculture (DA) to provide to rice farmers amid the declining prices of palay would not be enough, a group of rice farmers said. (MB file, Keith Bacongco) Federation of Free Farmers (FFF) National Manager Raul Montemayor said rice farmers have lost an average of P10,000 per hectare in the ongoing cropping season due to severely depressed palay prices.   This was his response to the joint resolution recently passed by the Senate Committees on Agriculture and Agrarian Reform, which ordered the DA to appropriate some P3 billion in tariffs from rice imports through the 2021 national budget for cash aid to rice farmers. Under the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL), which allowed unlimited rice importation in the Philippines, tariff collections in excess of P10 billion per year can be used for additional support to farmers, including cash transfers. FFF, however, noted that the proposed appropriation would only provide P5,000 per farmer if distributed to some 600,000 farmers tilling one hectare or less.   If the actual number of qualified farmers is raised to 1.1 million, the subsidy would only amount to about P2,700 per farmer. Either proposal will be unfair to equally affected rice farmers tilling larger areas, the farmers’ group said.   Instead, Montemayor said the government could keep palay prices stable by temporarily imposing safeguard duties or additional tariffs on imported rice. “The government allowed unlimited rice imports, resulting in low palay prices.  Now, it will spend P3 billion to partially offset farmers’ losses. If it had instead imposed additional duties on imports, palay prices would not have dropped too much, there would have been no need for cash aid to farmers, and the government might have even earned extra revenues from the safeguard duties,” said Montemayor. Under the Section 10 of RTL or Republic Act (RA) 11203, in order to protect the Philippine rice industry from sudden or extreme price fluctuations, a special safeguard duty on rice shall be imposed in accordance with Safeguard Measures Act.   R.A. 8800 or the Safeguard Measures Act, on the other hand, allows additional safeguard duties on top of regular tariffs in case an import surge is shown to be harmful to local farmers.   “Safeguard duties will not be inflationary as claimed by the DA, because they will be applied only when there is already a proven oversupply in the market.  They can be removed once the situation stabilizes,” said Montemayor. Agriculture Secretary William Dar is not keen on slapping additional tariff on rice imports, and has repeatedly appealed for public understanding about the “short-term” effects of RTL to palay prices. However, he promised to look for other solutions to the plea of the farmers like asking the National Food Authority (NFA), which buys palay at P19 per kilogram (/kg) to boost the government’s buffer stock, to intensify its palay procurement.   Instead of cash aid, the FFF proposed that existing funds from the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) and extra tariff collections be re-focused to address current problems of farmers.   It noted that half of farmers receiving free seeds under the RCEF had already been using certified seeds in the past, and that many were seeking other types of support that were not available under RCEF.   Numerous farmers have also questioned the DA’s promotion of seed varieties like NSIC Rc222, which is of poor quality and are being shunned by traders. “Also, the P5 billion annual fund for mechanization is not moving well, and it might be more practical at this time to preserve job opportunities for farm laborers instead of displacing them with machines,” Montemayor said.   “Moreover, the P1 billion budget for extension and training could be realigned, considering that farmers cannot attend training activities due to COVID-related restrictions. The P1 billion for credit could be better used for interest rate subsidies or loan guarantee programs, instead of direct loans which will benefit only 20,000 farmers,” he added......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 19th, 2020

House passes P4.5-T national budget for 2021

The House of Representatives passed the P4.5-trillion national budget for next year on final reading, paving the way for the Senate to tackle the spending bill in the plenary......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 16th, 2020

Palace eyes signed budget bill by yearend

Malacañang hopes the proposed P4.506-trillion 2021 national budget bill will be signed  before the year ends, after President Rodrigo Duterte certified the measure as urgent......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 11th, 2020

No games, big losses: Money crisis faces US Olympic sports

By EDDIE PELLS AP National Writer DENVER (AP) — The postponement of the Tokyo Games has catapulted the sports organizations that make up the backbone of the U.S. Olympic team into crisis. At least one has already started layoffs and others are desperate to stay solvent. Some are expecting a major downturn in membership dues, while others are reeling from event cancellations totaling more than 8,000 across all sports. A database analyzed by The Associated Press shows combined projected losses of more than $121 million in revenue between February and June for 43 of the 50 national governing bodies that responded to a survey from the NGB Council in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. As much or more as the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, which serves as an umbrella regulator of the country's Olympic sports, it's the NGBs that provide funding and other support for athletes to pursue their dreams at the Olympic and other elite levels. About 80% of the typical NGB's budget goes toward supporting athletes. Not including the U.S. Tennis Association — an outlier because of the massive revenue it generates from the U.S. Open — the NGBs have a combined annual revenue of about $685 million. By comparison, the NFL and NBA each reportedly brought in about $8 billion during the latest completed season. Half the NGBs are little more than ma-and-pop operations, working with small staffs and on revenue not more than $5 million a year. The USOPC, which sent cash grants to the individual NGBs to the tune of around $65 million in 2018, is also in uncharted territory. The postponement of the Olympics forces the federation to make up for a shortfall nearing $200 million without the NBC payout that comes during Olympic years. The USOPC broke with recent practice by not taking out insurance against that possible loss, instead deciding to self-insure. Some of the shortfall is expected to come from an endowment fund created out of a surplus from the 1984 LA Olympics. The USOPC says the losses across American sports could range from $600 million to $800 million. A good portion of these losses can be recouped if the games go forward, as expected, in 2021. But staying financially healthy until that time is not a given for some of the more vulnerable NGBs. “I haven't heard anyone say their NGB itself was going to go out of business,” said Max Cobb, the president of U.S. Biathlon, who doubles as leader of the USOPC's NGB Council. “But there's very little buffer to absorb any revenue loss for an NGB. They all run on a very tight revenue and expense model, and very few have much in the way of savings.” Already, USA Cycling, a mid-sized NGB with an approximate annual revenue of $15 million, laid off eight of its 70-person staff. And USA Rugby, which existed on about $14 million in revenue through 2017, was already teetering and could be nearing closer to bankruptcy with the added uncertainty the Olympic postponement has brought. Many NGBs, such as cycling, are event driven — reliant on cash brought when people sign up for local and national competitions that they sanction. Others, such as USA Swimming, get their lion's share of funding from membership dues, which are taking a hit as facilities around the nation close on the order of state and local governments. “We, as an NGB, will feel it next fall when memberships start rolling in. That shortfall could have a profound effect,” said USA Swimming's Tim Hinchey. “We can overcome a lot of these things, I think, if all comes back to normal. But we have to wait and see like everyone else.” The only event that makes money for swimming is its Olympic trials, which are also a significant revenue source for track, gymnastics and other sports that send large teams. All have been postponed, to be rescheduled when the IOC sets a new date for the Olympics in 2021. The USOPC recently sent a letter to Congress asking for $200 million to be included in the $2 trillion coronavirus relief package that passed through the House of Representatives on Friday. The money, it said, was to be used to support about 2,500 athletes and to help NGBs, which have a total of about 4,500 full-time employees. “On short notice, we surveyed NGBs and then made additional assumptions about the current and future impact of the pandemic on athlete financial support,” CEO Sarah Hirshland said. “Reflective of that work, funds were requested on behalf of athletes and NGBs only.” That request wasn't granted — the federal government has a long history of not providing financial support to the Olympics — though Cobb said he was encouraged that not-for-profit businesses such as the NGBs are allowed to apply for loans as part of the stimulus package's $349 billion “Paycheck Protection Program.” Hinchey said he'll direct some struggling swim clubs to also seek relief from the loan program. What's clear to Cobb is that without some help, more layoffs could be imminent at some NGBs, while others will suffer in ways that the broad public might not recognize right away. Without as much revenue to support a wider swath of coaching and training programs, to say nothing of equipment and state-of-the-art training facilities, some sports' pipelines might suffer. “The athletes receiving the support right now have earned that by being the best in the country,” Cobb said. “But it's that next generation of athletes, and all the NGBs rely on that next generation, that's the group that's the most impacted.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 28th, 2020

DENR hihirit ng dagdag na P3B para sa 2020 budget

Manila, Philippines – Humihingi ng karagdagang P3 bilyong budget ang Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) para sa mga programang nakatakdang ipatupad sa 2020. “We are hopeful the budget augmentation will be included in the final version of the 2020 General Appropriations Bill (GAB) to be passed by Congress—the House of Representatives and the […] The post DENR hihirit ng dagdag na P3B para sa 2020 budget appeared first on REMATE ONLINE......»»

Category: newsSource:  remateRelated NewsSep 28th, 2019

Palace urges Congress to pass 2020 budget on time to avoid economic slowdown

Under the Constitution, the government has to operate on a reenacted budget if Congress fails to pass a new spending bill......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 19th, 2019

Pagpasa sa 2021 GAA good news

Sa bilang na 257 affirmative votes, six negative votes, and no abstention, naipasa na ng mababang kapulungan ng Kongreso sa ikatlo at huling pagbasa ang House Bill No. 7727 o ang “General Appropriations Act of Fiscal Year 2021.” Nilalaman nito ang panukalang budget para sa susunod na taon. The post Pagpasa sa 2021 GAA good news first appeared on Abante......»»

Category: newsSource:  abanteRelated NewsOct 23rd, 2020

‘Errata’ in 2021 budget should only correct typo errors, won t contain new items — Palace

The errata to the 2021 budget approved by the House of Representatives should only correct typographical errors and should not contain new items, Malacañang said Tuesday......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 20th, 2020

Solon wants more funding for research efforts in Philippines

A senator on Tuesday renewed his call for additional funding to the country's research and development efforts at the time of the coronavirus pandemic, vowing to propose institutional amendments in the 2021 budget for the matter. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 20th, 2020

Lacson kay Velasco: Magkakaalaman na sa zero ‘pork’ budget

Ipinagpalagay ng mga senador na walang iregularidad sa post approval amendment ng House of Representatives (HOR) sa 2021 General Appropriations Bill (GAB). The post Lacson kay Velasco: Magkakaalaman na sa zero ‘pork’ budget first appeared on Abante......»»

Category: newsSource:  abanteRelated NewsOct 20th, 2020

Mandatory appointment of PENRO pushed

Recognizing that illegal logging activities remain rampant in some provinces, Siquijor Rep. Jake Vincent Villa has filed a bill seeking the mandatory appointment of Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO). He filed House Bill No. 7382 to amend the Local Government Code by making mandatory instead of optional the appointment of PENRO. Villa sought to specifically amend Section 463 under Chapter 2, Title 4, Book 3 of Republic Act No. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991, to ensure that there will be an official tasked to safeguard and promote environmental protection in the provinces. “As time passes, changes to the environment in all provinces become readily apparent. From once a land of flora and fauna turned concrete jungle of buildings and infrastructures. As changes occur, in particular, climate change transformation of some of our forests lands into virtual savannas aggravated by illegal logging activities have scalped off the precious cover that in the past has served as protection against rampaging rain water during the typhoon season,” Villa said.  “The government should be enjoined to protect and preserve our precious forest reserves to avoid destructive flooding,” Villa said.  “It is also for the same reasons that the government should designate an official who should be responsible for ensuring that the lands in every province are protected from wanton and illegal cutting of logs and that in areas where reforestation is needed, the same shall be undertaken to avoid destructive flooding in the future,” he added.  HB 7382 also seeks to amend Article 115 (b) of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of RA No. 7160 by including PENRO in the list of appointive provincial officials. At present, there are only 13 mandatory appointive provincial officials – Secretary to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, provincial treasurer, provincial accountant, provincial budget officer, provincial planning and development coordinator, provincial engineer, provincial health officer, provincial administrator, provincial legal officer, provincial agriculturist; provincial social welfare and development officer, provincial veterinarian, and provincial general services officer......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 19th, 2020

New-look House leadership off to a good start, say solons

House members can’t help but notice a sense of synergy between Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and Majority Leader Martin Romualdez in just their first few days of working together. Case in point, according to Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr., San Jose del Monte City Rep. Florida Robes, and Ang Probinsyano Party-list Rep. Alfred delos Santos, were the two important bills that the House leadership was able to deliver without a hitch during the conduct of special sessions this past week. The Majority Bloc solons were referring to the passage on third and final reading of measures House Bill (HB) No.7727, or the P4.506-trillion General Appropriations Bill (GAB) of 2021; and HB No.7884, or the proposed Act authorizing the President to expedite the processing and issuance of national and local permits, licenses and certifications. “The performance of the new leadership during special session was very commendable. This is a very encouraging sign in our mission to approve the legislative agenda of President Duterte,” Barzaga said. “The Velasco-Romualdez leadership (is) off to a good start,” added the veteran congressman and former Dasmariñas mayor. For her part, Robes said she is “extremely delighted that the leadership impasse in the House of Representatives had been resolved peacefully and amicably by our two honorable leaders, Lord Alan Velasco and former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.” “I look forward to a renewed, more united and inclusive leadership at the House of Representatives led by Speaker Velasco with Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez. I believe that Speaker Velasco and Majority Leader Romualdez are both righteous and committed to steer the House of Representatives to new heights to become a more effective and responsive institution to serve the Filipino people especially in these trying times,” she stressed. On the other hand, Delos Santos believes that the new-look leadership of the Lower Chamber will continue to work beyond 2020 even as he praised his colleagues for passing next year’s budget bill. “We are very happy that it (GAB) already finished the third reading. Our goal is always to fast-track the process to help out fellow Filipinos. These are not normal times, and gusto po nating matugunan agad yung mga pangangailangan ng mga kababayan natin (we want to quickly address the needs of our people),” Delos Santos said. “We want to assure government agencies (will have enough) resources for them to be able to function in the new normal,” he added. The passage of HB No.7884 or the Anti-Red Tape Bill followed soon after the chamber gave its final nod to the 2021 GAB. Both had been certified as urgent by President Duterte......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 18th, 2020

Palace seeks quick, efficient budget passage

Malacañang has appealed to the Senate for a quick but efficient passage of the P4.506 trillion 2021 national budget which the House approved on third and final reading Friday night......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 17th, 2020

Speaker: No pork in 2021 budget

The P4.5-trillion national budget passed by the House of Representatives Friday night is free of “pork,” Speaker Lord Allan Velasco said......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 17th, 2020

Think tank urges transparency in budget spending

As deliberations on the proposed P4.5-trillion 2021 national budget are on their final stages, a Makati-based think tank has urged government to make spending transparent to the people, especially at a time when huge budget allocations are needed to be responsive to the health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 17th, 2020

Pork barrel sinisilip sa 2021 nat’l budget

Manila, Philippines – Nangangamba ang mga kaalyado ni House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco na may pork barrel funds na naisingit sa 2021 national budget. Kaya naman pinayagan ng House Leadeship na makapagsumite pa ng mga individual amendments sa General Appropriations Bill ang mga mambabataas hanggang sa Oktubte 19 para mabago pa ang ilan sa alokasyon […] The post Pork barrel sinisilip sa 2021 nat’l budget appeared first on REMATE ONLINE......»»

Category: newsSource:  remateRelated NewsOct 17th, 2020

PCOO, pinuri ang Kongreso sa pag-apruba sa 2021 nat’l budget

Manila, Philippines – Pinuri ng Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) ang Mababang Kapulungan ng Kongreso sa ilalim ng liderato ni House Speaker Lord Allan Jay Velasco makaraang aprubahan sa ikatlo at huling pagbasa ang House Bill No. 7727 o ang General Appropriations Bill (GAB) naglalaman ng 2021 proposed national budget. “As the 2021 GAB progresses […] The post PCOO, pinuri ang Kongreso sa pag-apruba sa 2021 nat’l budget appeared first on REMATE ONLINE......»»

Category: newsSource:  remateRelated NewsOct 17th, 2020

Malakanyang nagpasalamat sa Kongreso sa pagpasa ng 2021 nat’l budget

Manila, Philippines – Pinasalamatan ng Malakanyang ang Mababang Kapulungan ng Kongreso sa pagpasa sa ikatlo at huling pagbasa ng House Bill No. 7727 o ang General Appropriations Bill (GAB) naglalaman ng 2021 proposed national budget sa tamang oras o sa loob ng special session na ipinatawag ni  Pangulong Rodrigo Roa Duterte. Sinabi ni Presidential spokesperson […] The post Malakanyang nagpasalamat sa Kongreso sa pagpasa ng 2021 nat’l budget appeared first on REMATE ONLINE......»»

Category: newsSource:  remateRelated NewsOct 17th, 2020