Cayetano opposes DBM move to halt funding for infra projects | Inquirer News
in view of current health crisis

Cayetano opposes DBM move to halt funding for infra projects

/ 10:52 PM April 24, 2020

Alan Peter Cayetano

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano. INQUIRER file photo / EDWIN BACASMAS

MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday disagreed with the move of the Department of Budget and Management  (DBM) to temporarily withhold funds for infrastructure projects in view of the health crisis.

This came after Budget Secretary Wendel E. Avisado issued National Budget Circular (NBC) No. 580 on April 22 which orders agencies to tighten their belts and defer non-essential spending in response to the pandemic.


The order also states that 35 percent of programmed funding under the 2020 national budget would not be released. Projects that would be denied funding according to the order include construction or repair of buildings and foreign travels with exceptions, among others.


“Marami dun infra and parating sinasabi ng economic team hindi dapat magalaw yung infra unless useless yung project or hindi kayang i-implement yung project because infra drives economic activity lalo po sa mga sulok-sulok ng ating bansa,” Cayetano told reporters.

(A lot of them are infra and the economic team would usually say that the fund for infra should not be touched unless the project is useless or it cannot be implemented, because infra drives economic activity especially in far-flung places in our country.)

“And in fact, infra also fights insurgency, talagang mamimili ka eh, kalye o bala [you would really choose between roads or bullets],” the House Speaker added.

With this development, Cayetano said there seems to be a “brewing disagreement” between the House of Representatives and the DBM.

“So by repeating the statement ulit and binabantayan namin yung mga [we are watching out for the] circular, there’s a brewing disagreement between us and tingin namin tama ang Kongreso na kapag ganitong national emergency at nandyan yung batas [and we see that Congress is right that when there is national emergency like this the law is there],” Cayetano said.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III earlier said that funds for big-ticket infrastructure projects will remain untouched, adding that resumption of massive infrastructure construction after the coronavirus crisis would be helpful in the recovery of the economy.

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TAGS: budget, COVID-19, DBM

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