It may seem far-fetched, but the Congress has approved a budget of Php. 1,000 for the Energy Regulatory Commission next year, 2018.
It was Zamboanga City Representative Celso Lobregat who made the move to sponsor the budget for the commission.
“I am here to sponsor the budget of the ERC and we are sponsoring the budget of P1, 000 for the ERC for the year 2018,” he said in a report by GMA News.
When asked if the congressman wanted to scrap the proposed P365 million budget, he said, “No, I am moving for a P1, 000 budget.”
“The minority is very proud to be part of this motion. I second,” BUHAY party list Representative Lito Atienza said.
The motion was approved following no objection from the other congressmen.
“Nag-meeting kami kay Speaker and ‘yung ERC is riddled with a lot of controversies and problems. And at this point in time, sabi ni Speaker [Pantaleon Alvarez], mas mabuti kung bigyan sila ng P1,” Lobregat told the reporters.
“Ang problema sa P1, ang budget natin is by the thousands. So at least ang ni-sponsor ko, P1,000,” he said.
Issues of corruption have surrounded the ERC over the past few months following the death of ERC director Francisco Villa Jr.
Recently, the palace ordered the suspension of Chairman Jose Vicente Salazar due to insubordination.
“The internal problems of the ERC really have to be resolved. Kasi if you put money in that agency, e sayang lang kung walang patutunguhan. I think that will really send a strong message that the House of Representatives really wants to fix [the ERC],” Lobregat said.
But the Php 1,000 budget does not equal to the abolition of the Energy Regulatory Commission.
“Hindi naman. Kasi actually kung i-abolish mo, talagang zero. At least P1,000 [ito],” he said.