Thursday, December 30, 2010

Estrada, Fabian top spenders at Senate, House in 2009: CoA

MANILA, Philippines - Senate President Pro Tempore Jose "Jinggoy" E. Estrada and Zamboanga City Rep. Erico Basilio A. Fabian (2nd district) topped the list of lawmakers who spent the most in 2009, according to data published by the Commission on Audit (CoA) yesterday.

For salaries, foreign and local travels, consultants, equipment, and other office requirements, senators spent a total of P433.38 million, while congressmen spent P1.87 billion from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31.

Aside from Mr. Estrada (P21.80 million), top spending senators were Gregorio B. Honasan II (P21.65 million), then senator now President Benigno Simeon S. C. Aquino III (P21.55 million), Antonio F. Trillanes IV (P21.14 million) and Ramon B. Revilla, Jr. (P21.05 million).

Mr. Trillanes, who until two weeks ago was in jail and has been freed pending an amnesty grant, was the only senator who spent for new equipment worth P135,032.

Those who spent the least were Joker P. Arroyo, P14.61 million; followed by former senator Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. P15.178 million; Edgardo J. Angara, P16.42 million; and Loren B. Legarda, P17.28 million.

Mr. Estrada paid P11.868 million for salaries and benefits of his staff, P10 million higher than the P1.68 million Mr. Pimentel who spent the least for the same items.

For meetings and conferences, former senator now Muntinlupa Rep. Rodolfo G. Biazon incurred the highest with P1.29 billion; followed by Manuel B. Villar, Jr., P1.13 billion; Mr. Pimentel, P910.58 million, Pilar Juliana S. Cayetano, P856.58 million; and Alan Peter S. Cayetano,P845.58 million.

Former senator Richard J. Gordon, Senator Manuel M. Lapid and Messrs. Arroyo and Angara spent the least at P130.58 million.

At the House of Representatives, aside from Mr. Fabian (P8.91 million), other top spenders were Davao del Norte Rep. Arrel R. Olano (1st district) and former South Cotabato Rep. Arthur Pingoy (2nd district), who is now governor, with P8.77 million.

Others were Zamboanga del Norte Rep. Cesar G. Jalosjos (P8.715 million); Ilocos Norte Rep. Roque R. Ablan, Jr. (P8.60 million); and Southern Leyte Rep. Roger G. Mercado (P8.59 million).

Those who spent the least were Laguna Rep. Danilo Ramon S. Fernandez with P6.5 million, followed by CIBAC party-list Rep. Cinchona C. Cruz-Gonzales with P6.504 million.

Meanwhile, Guimaras Rep. Joaquin Carlos Rahman A. Nava spent P1.25 million -- the highest among the 270 congressmen in the 14th Congress -- for foreign travels last year.

He was followed by Iloilo Rep. Janette L. Garin (1st district), P916,000; Camarines Norte Rep. Liwayway Vinzons-Chato, P851,000; Cebu City Rep. Raul V. fel Mar (1st district), P830,000; and Batangas Rep. Mark Llandro L. Mendoza (4th district), P780,000.

For her part, Ms. Garin, who is a doctor by profession, said: "I was part of the Parliamentary Network on World Bank. I spoke several times in HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) conferences," she said.

Some congressmen were not included as they did not serve the whole 12 months due to delayed proclamation, among others. (Noemi M. Gonzales - Business World)


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