Lacson reveals ‘double’ funding in DPWH 2021 budget

Senator Panfilo Lacson raised concerns over the double allocation worth P6.832 billion in the proposed 2021 national budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) budget.

Lacson said when it comes to the senators’ individual insertions in the national budget, they will look like “barangay kagawad” (village councilors) compared to their counteŕparts in the House of Representatives (HoR).

The senator revealed that congressional district representatives’ insertions ranged from P620 million to P15.351 billion.

“There’s a list of 739 line items for MPBs (multipurpose buildings) with a uniform allocation of P1 million each. If a P2-million project would only come up with a skeletal structure, can you imagine how an MPB with P1-million allocation would look? Ang total po lahat nito (All of these totaled to) P474,804,707,000,” he stressed.

Lacson added, “Now we’re looking at billions, from one to 220 districts more than P1 billion. Our source here is the HoR itself. And according to our sources, they had a hand in the preparation of this list. So, I am not blaming the (Public Works) department when it appears this way.”

Lacson reveals ‘double’ funding in DPWH 2021 budget

As an example of double allocation, Lacson cited the P1.791-billion budget for the repair of the Davao City Coastal Bypass Road, traversing Bago Aplaya-Times Beach-Roxas Avenue.

However, another P4.049 billion for the Davao City Coastal Bypass Road traversing Bago Aplaya-Times Beach-Roxas Avenue was also appropriated.

“We’d like to get an explanation because this appears to be a double appropriation, only one item. There’s no sectioning. The description of the items is the same. It appears that it’s only one project. If we add P1.709 billion and P4.449 billion, the total amount of duplicated projects would be P6.169 billion,” he said.

Lacson added he discovered double appropriations in the following proposed projects:

  • Kennon Road to Bypass Road Baguio City (P53 million)
  • Iguig Bypass Road in Cagayan (P51.9 million)
  • Balagtas Flyover in Batangas City (P166.3 million)
  • MPB site development in Barangay Carmay East in Rosales, Pangasinan (P177.5 million)
  • Convention center in Ozamis City, Misamis Occidental (P174.3 million)

The DPWH’s budget was submitted in the plenary at 1 am on Thursday during the Senate’s marathon plenary session.