By: Ferdie M. Brizo
The issue regarding the confidential fund between Senator Risa Hontiveros and Vice President Sara Duterte is heating up.
We admire Senator Hontiveros as the lone true vanguard in the Senate. It seems that some of our senators, especially the congressmen, often invoke courtesy rather than the interests of the government coffers and the people.
Budget requests from agencies for the General Appropriations Act often sail through Congress swiftly due to this notion of courtesy. Are these the kind of public servants we trust? If they view their jobs in this manner, always negotiable, then they shouldn’t win in the next elections.
Congress is known as the power of the purse because they are the screening agents for the people when it comes to proper budgeting and programs to be implemented nationwide. If party affiliation and courtesy are what the committee in Congress frequently cites, we will gain nothing. They become accomplices to those who intend to steal from the public.
We hope that some senators and congressmen follow what Senator Hontiveros is doing to present the programs of government agencies effectively.
Also, legislators should scrutinize the implemented programs that Congress allocated funds for. Many legislators seem to be the ones implementing these programs, which numerous jurisprudence and Supreme Court decisions have ruled as encroachment because their primary role is legislation.
The latest news suggests that due to the scrutiny by Congressman Edcel Lagman, the Makabayan legislators, and Senator Hontiveros, there has been a positive development wherein some lawmakers are reconsidering the allocation of confidential funds for those who are not obligated by their mandate. Even the office of the vice president may potentially lose its confidential fund.
It’s a good thing that legislators, especially those in the committee on appropriations, have awakened from their silence during the process. This change in stance is a result of pressure from netizens, causing the representatives of the Filipino people to reevaluate their actions. Their conscience caught up with them, and they bowed to the will of the people.
It’s audacious for those who seek confidential funds to act this way. We are aware that these funds are not subject to extensive scrutiny, so they take refuge in the pleasure of using these funds as they please. Hopefully, they will come to realize that the people are struggling, while they continue to enjoy the benefits of their position. (FB EYE/BICOL PERYODIKO WEEKLY/CATANDUANES)