DBM: Andaya’s claims serve to ‘destabilize’ administration
MANILA, Philippines — The claims of Camarines Sur Rolando Andaya Jr. that the government failed to pay private companies in 2018 due to a “corrupt system” in two departments was a way to “destabilize” the Duterte administration, the Department of Budget and Management said in a statement issued on Tuesday.
“Not only are these allegations misplaced — as the DBM is not the proper party to address such claims — they are exaggerated and sensationalized to serve a political agenda and to destabilize the good work the DBM and the Duterte administration have done,” the DBM said.
Andaya, chair of the House Committee on Appropriations, had alleged that unpaid contracts for infrastructure projects had ballooned from P44 billion in November 2018 had ballooned to P100 billion at the end of the year.
Andaya noted that the “gargantuan amount” had forced DPWH contractors to “cough up kickbacks just to be paid for completed infrastructure projects.”
The DBM belied the allegation, saying that it only released “spending authority and notice of cash allocation (NCA).”
The DBM also explained that implementing agencies would engage with contractors only through open and competitive bidding for delivery and payment of goods and services.
With the cash requirements of the DPWH, the DBM said it had already released funds to cover the agency’s “full-year cash requirements including payments for due and demandable obligations” in 2018.
This was reflected in the actual disbursement releases of DPWH in 2018 amounting to P560.4 billion, the DBM noted.
It added that the original disbursement program of the DPWH was only P516 billion before submitting an additional request of P44 billion in cash allocations September 2018.
DBM also belied accusations that it adjusted the DPWH budget without its knowledge.
“The original budget request of the Department of Public Works and Highways for its budget in 2019 was P652 billion. Initially, P480.2 billion was approved but P75.5 billion was added later to bring the total DPWH budget to P555.7 billion,” the DBM said.
“This is in order to meet the infrastructure spending target of the Development Budget Coordinating Committee (DBCC) at 5 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” it added.
The DBM explained that the DPWH budget was presented to the Cabinet and was approved by President Rodrigo Duterte during a Cabinet meeting on July 9, 2018. /atm
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