Zarate claims P16-B NIA funds for 2022 ‘lump sum’, ‘pork barrel’
MANILA, Philippines — Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate pointed out Wednesday that some P16 billion of funds in the proposed 2022 budget of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) is a lump sum which serves as a form of “pork barrel.”
During the House deliberations on the proposed budget of the Department of Agriculture (DA), Zarate said funds totaling P16,364,463,000 appropriated under the budget of NIA are lump sum. NIA is under the DA.
“Sa 2022 budget, paliit nang paliit ang pondo ng National Irrigation Administration pero napansin po namin, napakarami pong lump sum. A total of P16,364,463,000 lump sum,” Zarate said.
(In the 2022 budget, the NIA budget is smaller but we noticed, there is a lot of lump-sum funding. A total of P16,364,463,000 are lump sum.)
“P16 billion, wala ho itong itemized, nakalagay lang doon restoration of irrigation system, P4.2 billion… climate change adaptation work, P1.8 billion… repair of national irrigation system, P3.6 billion, and many more,” he added.
(P16 billion worth of funding is not itemized. What is just stated there is the restoration of irrigation system, P4.2 billion… climate change adaptation work, P1.8 billion… repair of national irrigation system, P3.6 billion, and many more.)
Zarate further said: “So, lump sums po ito at parang pork barrel ito ng NIA. Puwedeng kung saan saan lang nila dalhin ito (These lump sums are like pork barrel of NIA and they can use these funds anywhere).”
But NIA deputy administrator C’zar Sulaik said that there is a detailed breakdown of the specific projects for which the funding proposed will be used.
“With regards to the query, ‘yun pong sinasabi niyo na lump sum, mayroon itong breakdown po ng per region at bibigyan ko po kayo ng kopya nito kung ano po ang breakdown ng per region,” Sulaik said.
(With regards to the query, there is a breakdown per region on what is said to be lump-sum funding. We will provide a copy of the breakdown per region.)
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