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 Lacson: Kickbacks from P75B ‘pork’ peddled to contractors 

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 07:48 PM February 08, 2019

 MANILA,  Philippines – A 20 percent commission per project from the  P75 billion “pork”  was already allegedly  peddled  to contractors  even before Congress  could approve the 2019 national budget.

Senator Panfilo Lacson disclosed this on Friday in a privilege speech titled “To See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil.”

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“Just very recently, during last Wednesday evening’s caucus to be exact, a valid source had a word in our ears that the P75 billion had been earlier peddled to contractors across the country, region by region, at a 20% commission per project cost,” Lacson bared.

“That would be a sum of P15 billion worth of taxpayers’ money to the pockets of its proponents and cohorts,” he said.

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After scrutinizing the budget, Lacson said he discovered that P11 billion of the P75 billion came  from the “notoriously corrupt” Motor Vehicle User Charge (MVUC).

The P75 billion he was referring to was the budget added  to the 2019 budget of the  Department of Public Works and Highways  (DPWH).

DPWH Secretary Mark Villar earlier admitted  that he was not aware of the additional P75 billion  budget of the agency until he saw the  National Expenditure   Program.

During budget deliberations at the Senate, Lacson said they reduced  the DPWH’s budget  by P60. 937 billion.

“Unfortunately, Mr. President, the net change in the second reading version of the Senate for the DPWH budget is only P37.650 billion,” he said.

“This is because P23.286 billion worth of new projects were introduced in the DPWH budget during the second reading of the Senate version,” the senator  added

Lacson  noted  that the Senate has only  23  members.

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“To a suspicious public, we could all be complicit in introducing our own pork to the budget of the DPWH. If split up in metaphoric “hating-kapatid,” this will amount to more than P1 billion per senator,”  he said.

“But since I am absolutely sure that I have not availed of any portion of the P23.2 billion, and I have knowledge that quite a number of our colleagues likewise did not partake of whatever slice there was from that P23.2-billion “pizza pie,” ergo, some members of this chamber must be smarter and luckier than the others.”

The senator  earlier claimed  that  not only the House of Representatives  but also  some of his colleagues  in the Senate had inserted   P23 billion  in  the budget.

“As to the recent claim of Congressman Andaya about the P3-billion pork allocation per senator, huwag po natin siyang paniwalaan dahil sadyang napakalayo sa katotohanan ang kanyang komputasyon,” Lacson said.

(Let us not believe him because the truth belies his computation.)

He was referring to Camarines Sur Rep.  Rolando  Andaya’s allegation  that the bulk of the  P75 billion “pork” would  go to 23 senators, who would  allegedly get at least  P3 billion each in government projects.

The remaining  the remaining P5 billion of P75 billion,  Andaya said,   would be shared by 292 congressmen. /gsg

READ: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1083071/lawmakers-keep-p75-b-pork-in-final-spending-bill

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TAGS: 2019 budget, Contractors, dpwh, Kickback, Lacson, P75 billion pork
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