Lacson wants P16B ‘pork’ sliced off DPWH budget
Senator Panfilo Lacson might again move for the deletion of more than P16 billion right-of-way (ROW) funding under the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) proposed budget next year.
The fund, he said, could be used as another source of funding for projects of legislators. Such funds are also called pork barrel, which the Supreme Court has ruled as illegal.
“Sa 2019, ang nakalagay dun parang P16 bilyon. Isang P10 billion at saka isang P6 bilyon,” Lacson told reporters on Monday.
(In 2019, there is P16 billion there. One is P10 billion and another P6 billion)
The fund, he said, was lumped at the DPWH’s central office.
Asked if he would push for the deletion of the funds, the senator said: “Papa-delete natin kasi noong isang taon kaya ni-restore nila yun… karamihan pa naman dun mga insertion ng congressmen…”
(We’ll ask for their deletion because last year they were restored. Many of them were insertions by congressmen)
But the senator said he would ask first the DPWH to submit the details of the P16 billion ROW funding.
“Kelangang isumite nila yung sa P6 billion saka yung sa P10 biyon para sa ROW kasi hindi malinaw . Naka lump na naman ito, nakalagay sa central office, sa NCR (National Capital Region),” Lacson said.
(They have to submit the details of the P6 billon and P10 billion for ROW because it’s not clear. It was again lumped at the Central Office, at the NCR)
“So ito na naman yung sinasabi ko na naka-park sa national office para ito yung pwedeng paghugutan ng mga proyekto ng mga mababatas ,” he pointed out.
(This is again parked at the national office and could be the source of projects of lawmakers)
In a text message, Lacson explained that P6.19 billion ROW was for completed projects while another P10.5 billion ROW was for various ongoing and future projects.
The more than P16 billion ROW fund, he said, was part of the P28.899 billion allotment for ROW in the proposed 2019 budget.
Lacson recalled that he also asked for the deletion of the P50 billion ROW funding in the 2018 budget.
He also brought this up during the hearing on the DPWH budget, saying that the P50 billion deleted by the Senate was later restored in the bicameral conference committee.
“Lest it be misconstrued as Sen. Legarda’s projects, these are not my projects,” Senator Loren Legarda, chair of the committee, said.
“Just to clarify, hindi ko po proyekto yun. hindi ko alam detalye nyan. That’s an institutional DPWH P50B project with ROW issues that were eventually, after consultations in open hearing, were returned in bicam. So it’s not like surreptitiously included in bicam without the knowledge of everyone,” she added.
Responding to the committee chair, Lacson said: “I never mentioned that these were your projects.” /cbb
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.