Interpellation of the DPWH budget for 2019: “Walk the extra mile”

Highlights of the continuation of Sen. Lacson’s interpellation of the DPWH’s budget:
* Tracing a big chunk of the P75B ‘insertion’ in the DPWH’s 2019 budget
* Proposal to reallocate a part of the P75B to slope protection
* Plea to DPWH to ‘walk the extra mile’ in helping landowners affected by right-of-way issues
* Push to restore a provision in the 2019 budget not to start implementation of projects without settling ROW first

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Quotes from the interpellation…

On tracing the P75-billion insertion in the DPWH’s 2019 budget:

“Iโ€™d like to begin by discussing the P75B adjustment made by the DBM on the DPWH budget in the NEP, by stating it can be traced and in fact easily. How? The UACS, which DBM still has in its files, as part of the NEP upon submission by the president to the HOR. For some reason the HOR has always removed the UACS in the GAB.”

“From the HOR P56.774B, may P51.792B from the DPWH budget. As alleged by Majority Leader Andaya, part ito ng P75B adjustment made in the NEP by the DBM. As claimed by SGMA herself, P20M was distributed among 297 congressmen at P60M per congressman. Naiwan 31.792B, allocated to the different agencies.”

“Whatโ€™s interesting to note, Mr. President, farm-to-market roads may naglobohan sa ibaโ€™t ibang distrito.ย In the second legislative district of Pampanga, from five farm-to-market roads projects in the NEP, naging 69, amounting to P500M. Nagkaroon sa Camarines Sur ng projects from an initial P367M under NEP na naipasa on second reading under the previous leadership, naging P1.9B. In Bohol lumaki masyado, in Surigao ganoon din.”

Proposal to reallocate part of the P75B to slope protection:

“More or less we have agreed, P75B will be excised from the budget of the DPWH. Not everything; I would like to propose something. We took this up during the committee hearing of the DPWH, BLISTT project (where) the problem is for lack of proper planning ang daming landslides.”

“I am proposing, with the permission of our colleagues, that part of the P75B be reallocated to DPWH for slope protection. I want to find out from them how much they need at least for 2019 for slope protection in the BLISTT project. Di naman kaya ng isang taon ito. You have to coordinate with MGB.”

“Just to underscore the point Iโ€™m trying to state here, tingnan nyo segment ng road. It will endanger the lives of motorists. Thereโ€™s a road that now looks like a bridge. Thatโ€™s a complete road. Thereโ€™s no preparation, no slope protection. This (BLISTT) is a very good project that should be continued but should be done properly.”

Plea to the DPWH:

“May we plead with the DPWH to walk the extra mile. After discussing the ROW issues our office was swarmed by so many claimants. I donโ€™t want to transform my office into a collection agency.”

“I trust Sec. Villar will act on this. Minsan hindi nakakarating sa kanya. In the meantime, people are suffering. As they come weโ€™ll forward it to the OSEC para malinaw.”

“Maging flexible ang DPWH, stretch ang limit ng law, basta walang iva-violate.”

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