Yap admits ‘equal’ infrastructure budget for all districts not doable
MANILA , Philippines — It is not feasible to make infrastructure funding allocation “equal” for all congressional districts in the country due to their different needs, House appropriations chair Eric Yap said Wednesday.
After the bicameral conference committee adopted and approved the final version of the proposed national budget for 2021, Yap was asked how they addressed concerns over the alleged uneven distribution of infrastructure funds among congressional districts.
“‘Yung uneven allocations, na-address siya. May ibang mga tumaas pero hindi natin kayang gawing even eh, na lahat sila pantay-pantay,” Yap told reporters.
“Because if we’re going to do that, hindi na natin kailangan ang DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways). Kung magkano ang budget nila, let’s say P500 billion, divide it to 250 districts so no need sa mga district engineers, no need sa mga regional directors,” Yap added.
Yap said among the considerations was that certain areas in the country are not included in the government’s flagship “Build, Build, Build” program.
“Sa Albay, may ginagawa po tayong expressway dito, normal po na tataas. Katulad sa Benguet, mayroon po tayong nagko-collapse na kalsada even without typhoon ha, without calamity nagko-collapse ‘yun dahil mountainous ‘yung lugar na ‘yun,” Yap said.
“Malabo talaga ipantay-pantay ang mga district dahil may malaking districts, may maliit, mayroong iba-ibang terrain,” he added.
To recall, amid the speakership row between Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano and Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, congressmen raised questions over the alleged uneven distribution of infrastructure funds.
Likewise, Senator Panfilo Lacson earlier bared “huge” infrastructure allocations for congressional districts under the 2021 national budget, with allocations for 220 districts amounting to over P1 billion, the highest of which is P15.3 billion.