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GMA has no budget for oil spill

August 31, 2006

By Veronica Uy

THE Senate will convert the two-billion-peso equity rental fee for the Metro Rail Transit in the 46.9-billion peso supplemental budget approved by the House of Representatives to the Guimaras oil spill fund, Senator Franklin Drilon told reporters Thursday.

The head of the Senate committee on finance said the two-billion-peso equity rental fee for the MRT was not included in the 2006 National Expenditure Program and was only “inserted for the creditors of MRT” by the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) in the supplemental budget.

“We see no rhyme, no reason for this insertion…We [will] remove this two billion pesos and put it to the Guimaras oil spill fund, which will be used for the oil spill operations so that funds are immediately available and more importantly, will be used for livelihood and other assistance to those who are adversely affected by the Guimaras oil spill,” he said, noting that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo had not allotted any funds for Guimaras.

After the House transmits its version of the bill to the Senate, they would conduct hearings, put it on the floor for debate not later than September 11, and pass it that same week.

(Click INQ7.net for the full story, Aug. 31, 2006.)

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