Typo errors, double allocations found in DPWH’s budget
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo Lacson’s close scrutiny of the 2020 budget riddled with typographical errors and questionable allocations had resulted in the deletion of at least over P100 million budget for dredging and desilting.
At the resumption of the Senate’s floor deliberations on Thursday, Lacson first questioned the lack of details on the proposed P507 million budget for Kennon Road.
“Kindly explain bakit yung description nito Kennon Road lang (why the description was only Kennon Road), P507 million,” he said.
“Well, they are not sure why… it was probably an oversight on their part…” said Senator Sonny Angara, who is defending the Department of Public Works and Highways’ (DPWH) budget as chairman of the Senate committee on finance.
“I think they are telling me now that at the time when the NEP (National Expenditure Program) was prepared, it was not really validated, so now it has undergone validation,” he added.
Angara said the DPWH would submit an errata to reflect the breakdown of the said allocation
“Ang worry ko dito P507M for Kennon Road. There’s another P76 million for Kennon Road pero may stationing…baka maulit yung tinake up natin sa committee , yung overlapping. Baka naman P76M kasama na sa P507 M, e merong double allocation or appropriation . Yun lang ang problema,” Lacson said.
(My worry here is the P507M for Kennon Road. There’s another P76 million for Kennon Road for stationing… The overlapping we discussed in the committee may happen again Maybe the P76 million is already part of the P507M, then it would be double allocation or appropriation. That’s the only problem.)
But the DPWH, through Angara, explained that the two allocations are separate items.
Aside from the Kennon Road project, Lacson also questioned the “very vague” descriptions of allocations for Quezon City (P276 million) and for various roads in Taguig City amounting to P315 million
Angara said the details of the projects would also be included in the errata.
Lacson was also baffled by a P500,000 budget for construction of bridges in Ilocos Norte..
“Anong klaseng tulay po yung papagawa natin? Bridges ha, hindi ito bridge. Construction ha, hindi ito repair, o rehabilitation of bridges, plural. P500,000, ano pong klaseng tulay mapapagwa natin sa P500,000?”
(What kind of bridge is this? Bridges, not bridge. Construction, not repair or rehabilitation of bridges, plural. What kind of bridge can we build with P500,000)
A close to P10 million allocation for two circumferential roads in Batan Island—one amounting to P7.5 million, and another was worth P2.09 million— also caught Lacson’s attention.
Angara said the DPWH was not aware of the specifics and would have to check on it first.
In Valenzuela City, Lacson noted the two projects for drainage worth P10 million that were “exactly worded and funded.”
“Ang pagkaiba lang, yung isa nagdoble yung Valenzuela City, pero parehong-pareho yung wordings. How’s that?” he asked.
Responding to the query, Angara said: “According to the Secretary that’s probably a typographical error, will correct it.”
“There are two possibilities, according to the Secretary , our honor. It’s a typographical error or it’s a phase 1, phase 2, pagsasamahin na lang siguro…They will look into it,” he added,
At this point, Lacson revealed that the budget also contained multi-million peso fundings for dredging and desilting.
He reminded last year’s agreement among lawmakers to remove all budgets for said projects.
“May sumulpot na naman dito? Ano tatanggalin? We’ll delete it,” Lacson said, adding the allocations for dredging were P15 million, 10 million, two items worth P20 million each, and another P44 million.
Angara confirmed the allocations, saying it was over a P100 million.
The DPWH, he said, also agreed to said to delete the items and realigned the budget instead for maintenance.
The DPWH admitted another typo error when Lacson asked about an item in the budget regarding a request for the improvement of a road in Aparri, Cagayan.
“Ewan ko kung typo ito (I’m not sure if it a typo) or cut and paste…” said the senator. “How can you implement a request, Mr. President?”
“I think that’s the typographical…yan talaga (that’s really a typographical,” Angara said.
But Lacson was not convinced.
“Typo or cut and paste..? Parang hindi ko matanggap na typo ito. Parang cut and paste ito na sinaskak na lang sa GAB (General Appropriations Bill) or sa NEP,” he said.
(Typo or cut and paste..? I think I can’t accept that it’s a typo. It looks like a cut and paste that was inserted in the GAB or NEP)
“Ngayon lang ako nakakita ng ganito, honestly: “Requesting for the improvement of a road…” Lacson added.
Angara said the word “requesting” had already been deleted since the funding request was already approved anyway.
Edited by MUF
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