'Patently illegal:' Lacson flags P396-B lump sum fund under proposed DPWH budget | Inquirer News

‘Patently illegal:’ Lacson flags P396-B lump sum fund under proposed DPWH budget

/ 03:17 PM September 09, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo Lacson on Wednesday flagged lump sum appropriations lodged under the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) amounting to over P396 billion under the proposed 2021 national budget.

“Ito nakita namin. Lodged in the central office of the DPWH amounting to P396 billion. They would easily fall under the Supreme Court in Belgica vs Executive Secretary ruled as lump-sum appropriations and therefore patently illegal,” Lacson said during the Senate’s budget deliberations.

“Tingnan nyo, ang description [for the appropriations] ‘di yan itemized. And kung isasama natin ang P73.5 billion plus P396 billion, ang lahat nito is P469 billion,” he added, flashing slides showing the said amounts.


The P73.5 billion Lacson was referring to were the “reappropriations” he had earlier flagged in the hearing.


“We compiled the total aggregate amount of P469 billion corresponding to those reappropriated PAPs (programs and projects) all under the DPWH, of which lump sum items lodged in  capital outlay of DPWH amounting to P396 billion,” Lacson further noted.

Lacson said he would propose an amendment to the Senate’s version of the budget bill to “excise” items that were already appropriated under the 2020 budget but are being proposed to be appropriated again under the 2021 expenditure plan.

Revised list

Further, the senator urged the DPWH to submit to the Senate finance committee a revised list of PAPs that is “devoid of lump sums or reappropriated items.”

This, to prevent “some enterprising people” from realigning said funds, according to Lacson.

“We will provide you with the details. Kayo na mag-initiate, baguhin, i-revise nyo ito in the form of errata,” he then told the Department of Budget and Management.

In response, Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado said the department will coordinate with DPWH Secretary Mark Villar regarding the matter.

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