Congress called to withdraw resolution vs use of funds-A A +A
Monday, January 28, 2013
A PARTY-LIST lawmaker called Monday on the House of Representatives and the Senate to retract an approved resolution, which has barred the Commission on Audit (COA) from looking into the fund utilization of Congress.
COA chairperson Gracia Pulido Tan earlier cited a concurrent resolution approved and adopted by the House of Representatives and the Senate, which allows the House Speaker and the Senate President to fix and determine salaries, and budgetary requirements of personnel.
The same resolution also took note of the delicate and unique functions of Congress, which necessitates flexibility in the use of funds and the independence of Congress as co-equal branch of government.
“This resolution should be rescinded and full transparency should be exercised by both Houses. I am calling the leaders of the Senate and Congress to immediately rescind this resolution,” Bayan Muna party-list Representative Teddy Casiño said in a text message.
The resolution also allowed senators to only issue certifications on the use of Senate funds instead of receipts.
“All government agencies must also not be allowed to issue self-serving resolutions hiding their operations from public scrutiny,” he added.
The use of Senate funds has been criticized in the past weeks after Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile was found distributing savings to senators for their use as additional maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE).
The practice, several senators said, has been done in the past leaderships in the Senate.
Emerging after a caucus, Senator Panfilo Lacson said they decided to junk Concurrent Resolution 10, which allowed the issuance of a certification instead of receipts in the liquidation of funds.
“We can also formalize the rescission of the concurrent resolution by way of another resolution,” he said.
Absent in the meeting were Senators Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Ramon Revilla Jr., Miriam Defensor Santiago, Manuel Villar and Pia and Alan Peter Cayetano, who will file a resolution this week calling for a parallel audit on the disbursement of Senate funds. (Kathrina Alvarez/Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)