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Lacson calls move to reallocate budget to DPWH 'capricious'.

Senator Panfilo Lacson has called the move to reallocate back funds for Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) projects without any prior study as 'whimsical and capricious.'

In an ambush interview on Wednesday, Lacson claimed that when House members allocated P31.5 billion - part of the P51.79 billion previously slashed from the DPWH - back to DPWH projects, it was done hurriedly and without proper coordination with the department.

'Now pag titingnan natin nilipat nila halimbawa ang P31.5 billion sa ibang items, may pag-aaral bang ginawa rito o may nakitang basehan ba sila in coordination with DPWH na di pwede ituloy o ilipat ang proyekto dahil di viable?' he asked.

'I suppose wala. Kasi naging whimsical and capricious, it appears, ang move na ginawa ng mga congressmen identified with now Speaker Arroyo and Rep. Andaya, na lump nila ang items from DPWH ang P51-billion plus, at nilipat kung saan-saan,' he added.

The senator said he would ask DPWH officials in the budget hearings about the issue.

'Kaya pagdating ng committee hearing or maski sa plenaryo, tatanungin natin ang DPWH. Anong pag-aaral ang ginawa ninyo sa tatlong P10-B mahigit na inilipat ng grupo ni Rep. Andaya sa mga proyekto?' he said.

Despite this development, Lacson said their work was far from over, considering that the discovery constituted only a small amount of the total P3.7 trillion budget.

'At hindi pa tayo tapos dito. Ang na-identify lang natin sabi ko nga nagpapasalamat kami sampu ng aking staff dahil di na kami maghahanap sa nabulgar na,' he said.

'Pero hindi pa rin tapos ang trabaho. Maghahanap pa rin kami sa ibang items sa budget. Remember we're talking of P3.7 trillion,' he added.

Lacson also reiterated that senators have vowed to help in checking and scrutinizing the budget, concerning the projects' viability and if pork insertion took place.

'Narinig ko rin ang pronouncement ng mga kasamahan ko, mukhang magkatulong-tulong kami ngayon para tingnan mabuti ang viability at katuturan ng mga bagong proyekto na pinaglagakan ng pondo na galing sa P51.79 billion,' Lacson said.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Sep 19, 2018
Words:407
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