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Big budget for flood control projects due to climate change - Diokno.

The big budget allocated for flood mitigation projects in the current national spending program was due to climate change, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said on Monday.

Diokno was reacting to claims that the huge spike in the budget allocated for flood control projects was because of an alleged 'parking scheme' that public officials use in the government's flood mitigation projects.

'I may address that big budget now for flood control projects. Because of climate change,' Diokno said in an interview over ABS CBN News Channel.

He added that the Department of Budget and Management decided to 'quadruple' the size of the budget for infrastructure this year.

'Also we have actually quadrupled the size of the budget,' he said.

Diokno further explained that the government has only been spending 2.6 percent of the country's budget as a share of the company.

'That's low. That's why we have the poorest infrastructure in this part of the world. So now, our plan is increase that 2.6 percent to about 5 percent and eventually 7 percent,' the budget secretary explained.

'Kaya nalalakihan sila ngayon. All of a sudden, 'Uy ang laki na ng budget,'' he added.

House Majority leader Rolando Andaya Jr. earlier claimed that there is a 'parking scheme' among corrupt public officials in the government's flood control projects.

He said that a town mayor from Bicol region had informed him that a former member of President Rodrigo Duterte's Cabinet had facilitated the 'parking' of P300 million for a flood mitigation project in his municipality.

Andaya claimed that the 'parking scheme' may 'eventually explain the huge spike' allocated in flood mitigation projects in 2018.

He noted that the budget for flood mitigation projects this year, which was at P133 billion, ballooned from P79 billion in 2017.

Diokno said that the DBM has 'nothing to do' with the parking scheme because it is among legislators.

'That's among legislators. That's supposed to be a share of a legislator parked in a district. So that must be coming from a partylist representative, but we have nothing to do with that.'

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Dec 17, 2018
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