P500-M Kennon road rehab project just a typo – Villafuerte
MANILA, Philippines — The P500-million Kennon Road rehabilitation project, which Sen. Panfilo Lacson earlier questioned, was just a typographical error, House Deputy Speaker for Finance Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr. clarified Wednesday.
When asked to clarify the amount of the project that connects Baguio City to lowland areas of northern Luzon, the Camarines Sur 2nd District representative said it should just be P15 million and not P500 million.
“Kasi meron syang pi-noint out na cut and paste na amount P15 million in Baguio. But sabi ko nga out of 3,500-document ‘yun lang ‘yung nahanap n’ya na typo, it shows that maganda ‘yung budget,” Villafuerte said in an interview with ABS-CBN’s “Headstart.”
(He pointed out a cut-and-paste amount of P15 million in Baguio. But if that’s the only thing he flagged as typo out of the 3,500-page document then I think the budget is good.)
“The document speaks for itself, there’s no pork, there’s no parking,” he added.
Baguio Lone District Rep. Mark Go earlier disowned the Kennon road project. He said this was listed under the fund of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) National Capital Region Office in the National Expenditure Program.
“To allay misrepresentation that might cast doubt on my integrity as a person and as a legislator, I would like to state categorically… that the P507 million budget for the rehabilitation of Kennon road does not cover the City of Baguio,” Go said in a privilege speech last week.
“In the spirit of transparency and accountability, this representation believes that every amount of appropriation should specifically indicate the description and scope of work for a certain project,” he added.
Villafuerte, meanwhile, denied Lacson’s claim that the P4-billion financial assistance to local government units could be considered “parked funds.” There are specific guidelines on how to disburse the appropriation, he said.
Villafuerte also said he could not find the P10-billion DPWH fund Lacson was questioning.
“‘Yung P10.4 billion, we would like to ask him again if Sen. Ping can detail us where that is,” he said.
The House leader also expressed confidence that Congress could pass the proposed P4.1 trillion national budget for 2020 by December 15. /KGA
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