BAYAN Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate on Sunday slammed Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado for taking a medical leave amid a tougher lockdown starting Aug. 6.
“Just the other day Secretary Avisado said that he was still trying to find funds for the much-needed ayuda and awaited only a clear directive from President. Was such directive already given?
Was he able to find the budget to help our people before the ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) is implemented?” he asked.
Avisado will go on medical leave from Aug. 6 to 13, following a bout with COVID-19.
Should there be lack of funds for financial aid, Zarate proposed to source it from National Budget Circular 586 and the P4.5 billion presidential confidential and intelligence funds for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.
He also asked for the 2022 budget proposal from the DBM, “which is needed as the pandemic will continue next year.”
“Also, Congress still awaits the executive’s budget proposal for 2022 from the DBM. Is it done already? There is a need to immediately tackle the budget as we are still in the middle of a raging, surging pandemic; we must all act with urgency. This is also the reason why we are pushing for the fast tracking of the Bayanihan 3 so that funds can be allotted for aid, ASAP,” he said.
“The Bayanihan 3 should be separate, supplemental budget this year. It should not be included in the 2022 budget proposal because our affected people need the ayuda now,” he said.