📰 Philippine Daily Inquirer: Lacson questions budget raise given to DPWH next year

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From the Inquirer: Senator Panfilo Lacson questioned on Tuesday the P11-billion raise given to the budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) next year as approved in the bicameral conference committee.

Related: 🎥 ‘Kani-kanino pong mga projects yan?’ Questioning the added P11 billion in the DPWH’s budget for 2018 | Dec. 12, 2017

Lacson questions budget raise given to DPWH next year
By: Maila Ager – Reporter / @MAgerINQINQUIRER.net / 09:26 PM December 12, 2017

Senator Panfilo Lacson questioned on Tuesday the P11-billion raise given to the budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) next year as approved in the bicameral conference committee.

Lacson lamented that the P50.7-billion slash that he introduced in the Senate was not only restored to the DPWH budget but an additional P11 billion was also inserted during the bicam.

“I found out that under the DPWH, all the amendments that I introduced were restored and an additional P11,089,682,672 was added to the budget of the DPWH,” he said on the floor when Senator Loren Legarda presented to the floor the bicameral report on the 2018 budget.

“Now, I want to find out the details of the P11 billion plus the P50.7 billion that was slashed in plenary during the introduction of individual amendments plus the P18 billion for flood management program which we requested DPWH to submit to us the details of the right-of-way (ROW) of components,” Lacson added.

He said he had earlier requested DPWH Secretary Mark Villar to submit the ROW component of the P50.7 billion since the agency had only provided the P11 billion ROW components with no list of claimants.

“Hindi na po ako interesado dun sa P50.7 billion kasi nag-submit naman ang DPWH ng ROW component even without the list of claimants. I will tackle that during the budget deliberation of the 2019 General Appropriation Bill. That could come later,” Lacson said.

“But I’m interested in finding out bakit nadagdagan pa ng P11 billion. Kanino pong mga projects yun Mr. President?” he asked.

Responding to Lacson’s query, Legarda promised to give him the breakdown of the P11-billion increase of the DPWH budget by next week.

“I can live with that Mr. President,” Lacson said, “Before I came down, I promised myself to be kinder to you Mr. President.”

“That’s a great Christmas gift,” Legarda said.

Despite his questions, Lacson did not object when the Senate voted to ratify the 2018 national budget.