Press Release
May 26, 2006


Consistent with his principle that pork barrel funds only worsen the problem of graft and corruption, Sen. Panfilo Lacson is again giving up his pork allocations in the last year of his six-year term.

Lacson said that aside from helping prevent graft, giving up his pork barrel would ease the budget deficit while channeling more funds to neglected sectors such as retired firemen and policemen.

Along with his move to have his Countrywide Development Fund slashed from the General Appropriations Bill of 2006, Lacson has also proposed for the re-alignment of P262 million for the payment of back pensions and other benefits of Bureau of Fire Protection retirees from the P31 billion proposed slash in the House-approved budget.

The amount for the BFP retirees was included in the Senate version of the budget last year, but was scrapped after the Senate decided to fully adopt the House version of the budget to prevent the passage of questionable allocations that Malaca�ang was pushing at the time.

More than 100 BFP retirees, who have been crying foul over government neglect of their plight, are expected to benefit from the appropriation.

Through his proposed amendments, Lacson would also seek the realignment of funds for benefits of retired members of the Philippine National Police (PNP), which he headed from 1999 to 2001.

Likewise, Lacson also moved to realign P30 million as additional budget for the Research and Development Office under the Department of Science and Technology.

"The retired firemen and policemen gave the best years of their lives to serve the government, yet they are neglected after age took its toll on them. On the other hand, we could have kept up with our neighboring countries if we gave more funding to science and technology," Lacson said.

He expressed optimism that other senators and congressmen in the bicameral meetings on the 2006 GAB would appreciate and share his view on the proposed amendments.

Since 2002, Lacson had declined to use the pork barrel funds appropriated to him, saying it presents a temptation to lawmakers to make money at the people's expense through ghost projects, and deliveries or kickbacks.

Earlier, Lacson was among the senators who pushed for the appropriation of some P109 million for infrastructure and personnel of the Court of Appeals (CA) in Cebu and Cagayan de Oro Cities.

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