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Thursday, December 1, 2022

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P544B ‘pork’ sa DPWH budget nasipat

Ibinunyag ni Senate Minority Leader Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel III na may P554 bilyong lump-sum appropriations sa ilalim ng panukalang 2023 budget ng Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH).

“This is no small amount. The P544 billion lump-sum funds is equivalent to 75% of the total appropriation of the DPWH for next year,” sabi ni Pimentel.

Mahigit P718.4 bilyon ang alokasyon ng DPWH sa panukalang P5.268 trilyon National Expenditures Program.

“Every peso in the budget should be disaggregated. Lumang tugtugin na ang pagtatago ng bilyon-bilyong lump-sum. Let’s shun this practice,” saad ng senador. “Lump-sum amounts are prone to abuse and discretion.

“For Congress to allow lump-sum appropriation in the budget is tantamount to giving the executive a blanket authority to spend, in the case of DPWH, P544 billion at its own discretion,” babala pa nito.

Ayon pa kay Pimentel, karamihan sa lump-sum funds ay nakatago sa central office ng DPWH.

Sa P544 billion lump-sum appropriation, ani Pimentel, P213.915 bilyon para sa convergence and special support programs, kung saan kasama rito ang P104.82 bilyon para sa SIPAG Sustainable Infrastructure Projects Alleviating Gap at P52.45 bilyon para sa Basic Infrastructure Program (BIP).

Binigyang-diin pa ni Pimentel na ang parehong programa – SIPAG at BIP – ay duplikasyon lang ng function at may layunin na lagpas pa sa implementasyon ng national infrastructure program.

Sa P544 bilyon, P10.89 billion ay mapupunta para sa pagpapaluwag ng primary roads, P11.46 bilyon sa secondary roads, at P6.52 bilyon para naman sa tertiary roads.

“Saang distrito at barangay mapupunta itong bilyon-bilyong alokasyon?” tanong ni Pimentel.

“What I fear the most is it could be a rich source of pork barrel funds. That is why DPWH should disaggregate them and publicize the details immediately,” diin ni Pimentel. (Dindo Matining)

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