MANILA - Two left-leaning leaders have asked the Duterte administration to explain lump sums in the proposed P4.1 trillion 2020 national budget.
Bayan Muna Chairman Neri Colmenares and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate have sought Malacañang's explanation over reports of a P1.7 trillion lump sum in the national budget.
The said amount is under the special purpose funds.
"I hope that the executive department can explain this because if not, then the 2020 national budget may have the biggest presidential pork barrel in our country's history," Colmenares said in a statement.
Zarate for his part said that unless itemized, the funds can be considered as pork barrel.
The proposed 2020 national budget classifies special purpose funds as the calamity fund, contingency fund, pension and gratuity fund, and the miscellaneous personnel benefits fund.
Unprogrammed funds which are provided to cover deficiencies in the budget are also counted under special purpose funds.
The National Expenditure Program for 2020 defines Special Purpose Funds as appropriations in the General Appropriations Act provided to cover expenditures for specific purposes for which recipient departments/agencies have not yet been identified during budget preparation.
Below is the breakdown of the special purpose funds for 2020:
1. Budgetary Support to Government Corporations: P201.9 billion
2. Allocation to Local Government Units: P781.1 billion
-Internal Revenue Allotment: P648.9 billion
-Shares in Proceeds of Taxes: P29 billion
-Barangay Officials Death Benefits Fund: P50 million
-Local government Support Fund: P27.9 billion
-Share in the Proceeds of Fire Code Fees: P365.4 million
-Bangsamoro Region: P 70.63 billion
-Metro Manila Development Authority: P4.1 billion
3. Contingent Fund: P13 million
4. Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund: P63.4 billion
5. National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Fund P20 billion
6. Pension and Gratuity Fund: P190.2 billion
7. Tax Expenditure Fund: P14.5 billion
8. Debt Service-Interest Payments: P451 billion
9. Unprogrammed Funds: P216.3 billion
TOTAL: P1.7 trillion
Most of these funds may be accessed subject to the authority of the President or his authorized officials. - report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News