Lacson: One province gets P3.3-B budget ‘insertions’ from senators
MANILA, Philippines—One or more senators had made P3.3-billion budget “insertions” for one province alone, Senator Panfilo Lacson disclosed on Friday.
The amount was part of the P23 billion that Lacson said some senators have inserted on the budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) alone.
“The biggest is P3.3 billion,” Lacson said in a text message.
“The P3.3-B projects may involve more than one senator but are lumped in just one province,” he said without identifying the province.
These projects, he said, include flood control structures, national and local roads, water management, multi-purpose facilities, bridges, feasibility studies, and road right-of way.
Asked if it was unusual for senators to propose such amount for infrastructure projects, Lacson said: “What’s clear though is that these insertions sprouted in the Senate version of the national budget, so it is easy to conclude that these are insertions made by at least one senator.”
Lacson said he has a breakdown of the P23 billion but would not release it to the public.
“It’s of minor significance to the issue at hand,” he said.
“What’s more important is that those concerned are made aware that if they cross the red line and no matter how subtly they did it, they can still be found.”
Aside from the P23-billion allocation from some senators, Lacson also claimed that each congressman has P160-million “pork” allocation on the DPWH budget, and “billions more for a few others.”
He repeated this allegation in a Twitter post, lamenting that it was “too much and unacceptable.”
“I may be outvoted eventually but I’m willing to go down fighting, confident that some like-minded colleagues will do the same,” Lacson said. /jpv