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Philippine Senate Cash Gift Scandal

While saying nothing is illegal in the distribution of cash gifts to senators, Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III said he would still use the controversy as opportunity to push for his original plan to review the Senate finances.

”Actually, I have already drafted a resolution two months ago to review the oversight committee creation as well as budget in the Senate,” Pimentel said in a media interview on Monday.

”Maybe, we should look for ways on how to save money and lessen the budget of the Senate,” he added.

Under his proposal, Pimentel said he would like to determine if there is really a need to allot separate budget if a senator is holding a committee chairmanship.

”I thought oversight function of a legislator is built-in already in the conception of legislation. I was surprised being a new member of the Senate that their addition to regular committees, you have oversight committees,” Pimentel said

The lawmaker from Mindanao proposes to increase the budget of the regular committee, instead of creating oversight committee that would require separate budget.

”Why not increase the budget of the regular committee to include oversight function and then stop creating oversight committees separately. I think we will be able to save few millions on this,” Pimentel explained.

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