Villafuerte harks to ‘precedence’ in defending funding for capitol building construction
MANILA, Philippines — House Deputy Speaker for Finance Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr. on Tuesday insisted that there has been a lot of precedence of national government providing funding for construction of infrastructure such as capitol buildings.
Villafuerte issued the remark after former Negros Occidental Rep. Albee Benitez told him to explain why the national government has to shoulder the construction of his district’s Provincial Capitol that costs over P420 million.
Villafuerte, who represents the second district of Camarines Sur, added that provincial governments don’t have the capacity to fund capitol buildings, especially during a time when there is a pandemic.
“There’s already been a lot of precedence in the national government funding capitol buildings. The current capitol building of Camarines Sur was funded by the national government in 1978,” he said in an interview over ABS CBN News Channel.
“Hindi talaga kaya ng provincial government to fund a capitol especially now,” he added.
Since the current capitol building of the province is “dilapidated, condemned and declared unsafe during earthquakes,” the province has requested the national government to help fund the construction of a new capitol building, which was approved.
“Dumaan ba sa proseso? Yes. Vinalidate ba yan? Yes. May precedence ba yan? Yes,” Villafuerte said. “It’s transparent. The plans are there. The good thing is the DPWH funded it.”
He likewise assured that the funding for the capitol building is not a “parked” fund since it’s in the national expenditure program.
“Hindi parked ‘yan. And pag na-start ‘yan, they can see the structure being done. Nobody can question a capitol building because there’s a seat of government. It’s as important as a bridge, as a road, as a building,” Villafuerte said.
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