Statement of Senator Loren Legarda Chair, Senate Committee on Finance

January 14, 2016

“The whole budgetary process was done in the most transparent and inclusive manner. The bicameral conference committee proposed changes which were contained in the bicameral report that the Senate ratified as a body and thus carried in the General Appropriations Act.

“The Department of Health (DOH) Family Health and Responsible Parenting (FHRP) program has an allocation of P2.2 Billion in 2016 and more than P1.2 Billion in the last quarter of 2015 to be implemented in 2016. There are also projected savings of P8.8 Billion which can be used.

“There are sufficient funds for DOH FHRP and the traditional budgetary legislative process was followed. It was not a unilateral act on my part but all the bicam members from both houses of Congress, supported by their respective technical staff.

“We have worked on the budget to ensure that those who have less budget and less sources of funds will be augmented, such as additional funds for the social pension of indigent senior citizens worth P1.2 Billion; state universities and colleges worth P2.7 Billion; and first time payment of total administrative disability (TAD) pension for surviving spouses of deceased WWII veterans and partial payment of TAD pension for living post WWII veterans worth P4.773 Billion.”