Senators don't have a P200-million allocation in the 2019 budget, but Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri admitted that "all of us have institutional insertions."
Zubiri was reacting to the reported senator's P200-million budget that would be next year for their pet projects.
At a regular forum at the Senate on Thursday, the senator was asked if the proposed projects worth P200 million.
"No," Zubiri quickly said, "Well, of course, we have institutional insertions."
He explained that "institutional insertions" are amendments to proposals for certain projects such as, for instance, an additional budget for the construction of an airport in Mindanao.
These amendments, Zubiri said, are done in the budgeting process every year.
"So this year is no different," he pointed out.
Asked if the "institutional insertions" are not in violation of the Supreme Court rolled on "pork barrel," the Majority Leader said: "No case approval of the iyan e department (No because it has the approval of the department)."
Zubiri also denied Majority Leader Rolando Andaya, Jr.'s earlier claim that each senator has a P200-million allotment compared to only the P60-million budget for each member of the House of Representatives.
READ: Andaya: No pork in 2019 General Appropriations Bill
"Senator Loren has never given us a figure," he said, referring to Senator Loren Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on finance.
"Senator Loren Legarda has never approached us to say:" Uy meron kang P200, [or] 300 million. She never says that to us, "Zubiri stressed.
He said they could identify funding for certain projects but always with the approval of a department.
Zubiri said: "Guys, the Constitution is very clear, the power of the purse is with Congress and Senate."
"E kung wala, are the people at the dadalhin dito dito? E can be the Department of Budget and Management pag nilabas yung budget, yun na … ”he added. / ee
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