SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE OKS DILG'S PROPOSED 2019 BUDGET
During the resumption of budget hearings at the Senate, the Senate Finance Subcommittee has approved the Department of Interior and Local Government's (DILG) proposed ₱229.9 billion budget for 2019.
Such amount is ₱53.23 billion or 31% higher than the 2018 budget which amounts to ₱170.76 billion.
During last October's hearing, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the increase will primarily go to the salary increase of the country's uniformed personnel.
He said more than half of the budget will go to the Philippine National Police as 10,000 more police personnel are eyed to be recruited for 2019.
Meantime, 3,000 fire officers and 56 fire trucks are being aimed by the Bureau of Fire Protection to recruit and obtain respectively for 2019.
Año added that the said fund will also be utilized to improve human intelligence and technical assets.
However, during Monday's hearing, Senators Panfilo Lacson and Loren Legarda have called the attention of the DILG over its budget's yearly under spending.
Based on their assessment, it turned out that the DILG failed to spend ₱9.5 billion yearly that are only being given back to the National Treasury.
Meantime, Legarda also mentioned that there are officials at the barangay level who asks for her help to finance some projects which are supposed to be covered by funds from the DILG.
Meantime, Senator JV Ejercito who chaired another Senate Finance Sub-committee confirmed the approval of the ₱1.41 billion proposed budget of the Presidential Communications Operations Office at the committee level pending the submission of the new structure which was previously suggested – which is to revert back to the Office of the Press Secretary.
Ejercito said the difference with the new structure is the revival of the press attaches in select continents to include Europe, Asia Pacific and U.S.