The National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP)–an attached agency of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)–became the first agency to have its budget briefing deferred by the House Committee on Appropriations.

Gabriela Party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas (Screenshot from Facebook live)

This, after Gabriela Party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas, a member of the House minority bloc, motioned on late Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 6 for the deferral of the discussion on the NCIP’s proposed budget for 2023 worth P1.39 billion.

The motion from the Makabayan lawmaker was carried by the presiding chairperson, Negros Oriental 1st district Rep. Jocelyn Limkaichong.

However, the budget deliberation on the mother department, the DSWD, along with its other attached agencies, was terminated at the end of the committee briefing Tuesday.

A deferral means that the appropriations committee–the panel that has been carrying out the per agency budget deliberations on the proposed P5.268-trillion National Expenditure Program (NEP)–will reschedule a hearing for the concerned agency.

“Kaugnay po ito sa red-tagging ng mga issues and vilification kanina, for the record, narinig po natin yung ilan sa mga sagot ng NCIP (This has to do with the red-tagging of issues and vilification earlier, for the record, some of which we heard from the NCIP),” Brosas said after the fact when she was prodded to explain her motion.

The militant solon was referring to statements made by NCIP Chairman Allen Capuyan.

The appropriations panel will again hold a hearing on the NCIP budget at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

While not doomed, the NCIP budget will have to go through the eye of the proverbial needle as the committee had put its foot down, so to speak, with the deferral.

The panel will terminate the hearing on the NCIP budget once it is satisfied with the answers of its officials.

Independent minority solon, Albay 1st district Rep. Edcel Lagman defended the motion to defer the NCIP budget.

“The reason for the deferment of the termination of the budget proposal of NCIP is this: it has a meager budget and it is even asking for more. But, in the process, NCIP is doubling activities that is not within its mandate, using their mere funds.

“For example it is engaged in anti-dissident campaign, in the anti-communist campaign which should not be the case. That should be left to the proper agencies,” he explained.

Source: Manila Bulletin (