From ‘maginoo’ to ‘mandurugas’: How contractors describe officials asking for kickbacks
MANILA, Philippines — It has already become an “open secret” that kickbacks “have become the rule rather than the exception” in the implementation of infrastructure projects, Senator Panfilo Lacson said Thursday.
In a statement, Lacson bared that contractors “openly talk behind the backs” of erring officials from the executive and some legislators who supposedly ask for commissions or kickbacks.
“It has become an open secret that commissions or kickbacks have become the rule rather than the exception in the implementation of public works projects involving not only some corrupt officials of the department but some legislators as well,” Lacson said.
He said some contractors have shared with him “personal experiences” with different officials both from the executive and legislative branches of government.
“Contractors openly talk behind the backs of these officials, changing the definition of ‘mabait’ and ‘maginoo’ in the process: officials from the executive and legislative branches who ask for ‘only’ 10 percent are ‘mabait, maginoong kausap’ and those who demand 20 to 30 percent are ‘matakaw,’ while those who demand advance payments and renege on their word as ‘balasubas’ and ‘mandurugas,’” the senator said.
Lacson’s statement comes after he questioned the “pattern” of decreased budgets for national projects and increased funding for local projects under the submitted budget proposal of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for 2021.
The senator said the “mangled” and “mutilated” version submitted by the DPWH was “highly questionable.”
Lacson said it is the “exclusive function” of Congress to amend the National Expenditure Program (NEP) submitted by the Department of Budget and Management to the body.
The DPWH’s submission should have “only detailed” the “lump sums” in the DPWH budget under the NEP, the senator added.
“That being said, if no substantial adjustments are made once the final version of the 2021 GAB (General Appropriations Bill) is transmitted to the Senate, hopefully next week as promised by the new Speaker, I intend to propose during our plenary debates to cut or realign the excessive and unjustified ‘NEP amendments’ that the DPWH illegally made,” Lacson said.
Further, the senator described as “timely” the remarks of President Rodrigo Duterte, where he raised the alleged corruption within the DPWH.
“Dito sa DPWH malakas ‘yan diyan. Projects, ‘yung mga project engineers, iyan, iyan lahat, road, right-of-way, grabe ang corruption diyan. Walang — walang construction na uumpisa dito na walang transaction. Mayroon ‘yan,” Duterte said during his pre-recorded address aired Wednesday.
“If Congress would want really to know, ang mga project ng DPWH mayroon talaga ‘yan para sa give. Hindi ko — hindi ko alam kung sino. There are so many officials lined up in the bureaucratic maze so hindi ko alam kung sino diyan,” the President added.
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