MANILA -- After lawmakers from Visayas and Mindanao were allowed to have a say on the lump sum funds in the 2011 budget, the House Speaker clarified that insertions in the budget are allowed provided these are not “fantastic insertions”.

"Hindi naman bawal ang insertions eh, from the very beginning sinabi ko ayoko lang ng mga fantastic insertions noong araw na hundreds of millions and even billions," Speaker Feliciano Belmonte told reporters in an ambush interview.

On Wednesday, Deputy Speaker Pablo Garcia (second district, Cebu) led more than 100 congressmen, who protested their regions' small share of the budget pie. But after three hours of discussion with Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Garcia withdrew his earlier motion to suspend deliberations on the approval of the General Appropriations Act of 2011.

Garcia told reporters that the agreement reached basically was to restore back the old system wherein they could propose projects where the lump sum amount will be used.

Congressional insertions are individual amendments lawmakers make when the budget bill reaches the bicameral conference. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)