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Solons support no zero budget policy of House Speaker Arroyo

Philippine’s Former President and Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo waves to colleagues after she was elected by congressmen as the new Speaker of the House of Representatives in Quezon city, Metro Manila, in Philippines July 23, 2018. REUTERS/Czar Dancel

Members of the House of Representatives showed support for the policy of House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to give a budget to all lawmakers, even those who oppose her, as ‘a sign of good will’.

“Meron nga akong listahan and everyone was opposing me, pero ganun pa man as a gesture of goodwill, hindi sila bibigyan ng zero,” Arroyo said during an ambush interview in Calumpit, Batangas last August 3

Quezon City District Rep. Feliciano ‘Sonny’ Belmonte, a former House Speaker, praised Arroyo for being fair to all representatives, even to members of the Opposition.

Deputy Speaker Fredenil Castro, district representative of Capiz, also applauded the decision of Arroyo since the funds are not for the solons, but for projects that will benefit their constituents.

Castro confirmed that the zero budget policy of former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez is one of the reasons why many representatives withdrew their support from the district representative of the Davao Del Norte.

During his term as House Speaker, Alvarez confirmed that 24 ‘undesirable’ representatives lost funding and infrastructure projects in the 2018 national budget.

Last January, Alvarez announced that no budget will be given to provinces that will not be supportive of the government’s drive to shift the system of government to Federalism, however, he will later downplay his statements as a joke.

Meanwhile, Deputy Speaker Raneo, district representative of Batangas, is in favor of using a line-item budgeting system in order to ensure that the budget allocations are for their congressional districts.

 

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