Lacson, Andaya agree on limits of DBM role
Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Monday agreed with former House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr.’s position that the purchasing office of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) should not be involved in awarding multibillion-peso government contracts.
Andaya earlier questioned the authority of the Procurement Service of the DBM (PS-DBM) in supervising the bidding of P168 billion worth of big ticket projects under President Rodrigo Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program.
“It’s only the implementing agencies that can bid out the projects,” Lacson told ABS-CBN News Channel.
Lacson, who has led the scrutiny of the P3.8-trillion proposed national budget in the Senate, said PS-DBM should only be allowed in the purchasing of “common use” office supplies, such as staplers, bond papers, ball pens and pencils.
“But we in the Senate think that it would be better if we will just make the purchases on our own because the deliveries
(of PS-DBM) usually take longer. Sometimes the prices are even different,” he said.
No reason to step down
Lacson, however, said there was no reason for Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno to step down amid the allegations of corruption leveled against him by Andaya.
“I don’t think he should resign. First of all, the bottom line is, does he still enjoy the trust and confidence of the President? If he does not anymore and the President tells him, ‘I don’t trust you anymore,’ then that’s the time for him to resign,” he said.
Lacson previously disclosed that the congressional districts of Andaya and Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo received billions of pesos in pork barrel funds in the proposed 2019 spending bill.
This prompted the Camarines Sur representative to divulge the supposed “parking” of public funds in the districts of some of his colleagues in the House of Representatives and the irregular budgeting practices of the DBM since Diokno was appointed head of the budget department.
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