Escudero: Bicam on 2014 budget open to the public

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Friday, December 6, 2013

THE bicameral conference committee hearing scheduled Tuesday, December 10, on the P2.268-trillion national budget for 2014 will be opened to the public for the first time, Senator Francis Escudero said.

Escudero, chairperson of the Senate committee on finance, explained that this is the right time to show to the public that everything will be transparent for those who are serving in the government.

He said making the hearing open to the public will help in avoiding unnecessary insertion and the public can scrutinize all the figures that will be presented.

"They should know where their monies are going. That is their right," Escudero said.

The senator tweeted:

The senator also tweeted that the hearing will also be livestreamed.

The bicameral conference committee meeting is when the Senate and House members meet to reconcile contrasting provisions in their respective versions of the bill.

Escudero further said that this is the time to make everything public considering the many issues surrounding Congress particularly the pork barrel issue.

According to the Senator, there is no reason why Congress should not open the proceedings since they will be discussing about the people's money.

Escudero also admitted that as the finance committee chief in the Senate, he wants to make sure that questionable budgetary insertions will not happen.

The House of Representatives passed its version of 2014 general appropriations bill on September 28 while the Senate passed its version on November 27.

The Senate increased the calamity fund to P100 billion in view of the rehabilitation efforts for areas affected by recent calamities, such as super typhoon Yolanda.

Congress, Escudero said, is determined to finish the 2014 national budget before the year ends. (Camille P. Balagtas/Sunnex)

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