In case you missed it, blogger and journalist Thinking Pinoy was the first to write on social media about House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano’s controversial 22 Deputy Speakers and P1.6B request additional budget to fund these additions.
If you’d recall, this is the highest number of Deputy Speakers to date under Cayetano’s leadership since the end of WWI until 1995 when we had only 1 Deputy Speaker.
Cayetano defended the budget hike request and he discussed this to reporters including Pathricia Ann V. Roxas of PDI.
The Taguig-Pateros representative said the additional fund would be used to enhance the chamber’s research capabilities; meet the requirement for the new Salary Standardization Law; improve the facilities of the House and to fund additional committees like the oversight committee on the flagship programs and projects, and special panel on persons with disability; and additional vice-chairmen of the appropriations and ways and means panels.
So Cayetano wants the public to believe that part of the P1.6B is for research?
Cayetano took a swipe at the blogger (Thinking Pinoy) for not verifying his information.
Research my foot, to borrow the late Senator Miriam Santiago’s favorite expression when she was still alive.
“Ang problema sa blogger na ‘to, aside from an axe to grind sa akin, hindi man lang tiningnan ‘yung actual records ng Congress or ‘yung news”.
The issue should have ended here after Cayetano seemed to have a good defense re P1.6B budget hike for Congress until UP Professor Clarita Carlos decided to talk about the “research” thing.
According to Carlos, there is indeed money for research but only for a measly P18M research budget in 2020.
While the rest Carlos suspects will be intended for allies in Congress whose votes matter?
You may read Clarita Carlos’ original article below.
House Speaker Cayetano has announced an additional P1.6Billion for RESEARCH.
I am a member at large of the National Research Council of the Philippines, NRCP, composed of the creme de la creme of the social and natural scientists of the country.
The NRCP was established in 1933 during the American Occupation which mandate mirrored its counterpart in the US.
The NRCP has a TINY PUNY budget for research which many many of our young scientists are competing for to conduct their researches which should underpin our legislation.
My questions to Speaker Alan:
1. How much of this P1.6B research fund can be funneled to our scientists in the NRCP?
2. Or, will this largesse simply be broadcast to allies in the chamber whose votes matter?
Trivia: The NRCP will get P18M research budget in 2020… yikes!