The House of Representatives is seeking to augment its proposed P14 billion budget for 2020 by P1.6 billion.
The additional amount is due to an expected increase in personnel and expenses, including those brought on by the appointment of 22 Deputy Speakers, up from just 12 lawmakers occupying the said post in the last Congress.
Cavite representative Bambol Tolentino, Chairman of the House Committee on Accounts, made the pitch during the budget deliberations of the proposed P4.1 trillion national budget on Friday.
“We did not expect that there will be additional Deputy Speaker; we did not expect that there will be additional vice chairpersons on [House Committees] on Appropriations and Ways and Means; we did not expect either that there will be newly created committees,” Tolentino said.
“We are talking about all the employees, over 4,000, including those who are in a contractual status, permanents and other employees. Ipinagtatanggol natin ang budget ng different agencies ng pamahalaan. Huwag naman natin kalimutan ipagtanggol din ang budget ng House,” Tolentino added.The 22 Deputy Speakers of the House include:
- Paolo Duterte of Davao City
- Ferdinand Hernandez of South Cotabato
- Evelina Escudero of Sorsogon
- Loren Legarda of Antique
- Conrado Estrella III of Abono party-list
- Prospero Pichay, Jr. of Surigao del Sur
- Roberto Puno of Antipolo City
- Eddie Villanueva of CIBA party-list
- Aurelio Gonzales Jr. of Pampanga
- Johnny Pimentel of Surigao del Sur
- Luis Raymund Villafuerte of Camarines Sur
- Raneo Abu of Batangas
- Neptali Gonzales II of Mandaluyong
- Dan Fernandez of Laguna
- Rosemarie Arenas of Pangasinan
- Rodante Marcoleta of SAGIP party-list
- Henry Oaminal of Misamis Occidental
- Pablo John Garcia of Cebu
- Vilma Santos-Recto of Batangas
- Deogracias Victor Savellano of Ilocos Sur
- Mujiv Hataman of Basilan
- Michael Romero of 1-Pacman party-list
“There are a lot of increase in the expenses for 2020 for equipment, new offices for additional deputy speakers, and a lot of expenses really,” Tolentino said.
“Maliit lang ho ang hinihingi naming karagdagan. Hindi naman gaano kalakihan, hindi naman po gaano kaliitan,” he added. —JST, GMA News