MANILA, Philippines – During the bicameral conference of the 2 chambers of Congress, Thursday, Senator Panfilo Lacson revealed he recommended the slashing of P50.7-billion in the proposed budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
The said amount was allocated in DPWH’s right of way item.
Lacson argued the said item has no clear claimants.
In the Senate version of the General Appropriations Act, the slashed amount will be transferred to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) for the implementation of the National ID System.
The amount will also be allocated to the allowance of public school teachers, and feeding program of the DPWH.
“Hindi mo pa nga na-settle yung dadaanan ng kalsada, paano ka magtatayo ng kalsada? (You have not even settled the right of way, how are you going to build the road?) So that accounts for the huge unused appropriations,” Lacson said.
Senator Cynthia Villar admitted the budget cut affects one of her road projects in Las Piñas City, a known Villar family bulwark. It can be noted that her son is the current DPWH secretary.
Villar said the move will have a huge impact, particularly on her road project, which she claims, would help ease traffic congestion in Las Piñas City.
“Si Sen. [Juan Miguel]Zubiri nagko-complain din. Bigla ko binasa, nakita ko rin meron sa Las Piñas. Doon ko lang nakita kasi hindi ko naman kasi ma-imagine na maka-cut kami eh. Very worthy project naman at wala naman kaming problema,” Villar said.
(Senator Zubiri was also complaining. So I read it and saw that there’s a road project in Las Piñas. I only found out then because I never imagined they would be cutting the budget. It is a very worthy project and we don’t have any problems.)
With this, the lady senator called on her colleagues in the Senate and lawmakers in the Lower House to study and thoroughly reassess the decision.
Sen. Lacson said many had objected to the budget cut.
“Actually maraming resistance. Ang dami ngang kinakausap na tinamaan yung mga projects nila. Sabi ko hindi ko naman alam na projects niyo yun, malay ko ba. Eh alam ko naman wala na talagang pork,” he said.
(Actually, there is a lot of resistance. Many said their projects have been affected. I told them I was not aware that these are your projects. What I know is that there is no longer pork.)
On the other hand, House Committee on Appropriations Chairman Karlo Norales denied that there are lawmakers complaining about the DPWH budget cut.
“These are projects endorsed by DPWH to DBM, asking for budget allocation para masama sa National Expenditure Program which sinubmit sa Congress for our approval. Hindi ko lubos na maintindihan kung ano ang sinasabi na projects ng congressman,” Nograles said.
(These are projects endorsed by DPWH to DBM, asking for budget allocation to be included in the National Expenditure Program which has been submitted to Congress for our approval. So I don’t understand what projects of the congressmen are being referred to.)
Meanwhile, in the 2018 national budget version of the Lower House, the fund for the Oplan Double Barrel of the Philippine National Police remains at P1.4-billion.
While the budget for the Programang Mamamayang Ayaw sa Anomalya, Mamamayang Ayaw sa Ilegal na Droga or MASA-MASID of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) remains at P500-million.
However, the Senate removed the said amounts in its own budget proposal version. The Senate allocated the fund for the construction of houses for policemen and soldiers.
The two chambers of Congress said they will address the differences in their national budget versions.
They target to ratify the P3.7-trillion General Appropriations Bill by the 12th of December. – Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has completed the construction of classrooms in Amulung National High School and a road-widening project in Cagayan.
DPWH Secretary Mark A. Villar cited the completion of a 4.23 kilometers road widening project funded under the 2018 Regular Infrastructure Fund. This is based on the report submitted by District Engineer Danilo U. Tabilas of DPWH-Cagayan Third District Engineering Office (DPWH-CTDEO).
The construction of a two-storey school building, which consists of eight classrooms, has also been completed. According to Villar, this aims to increase the number of students for the incoming school years.
“These new, sturdy, and comfortable classrooms will cater a total of 400 students and provide a conducive learning environment that will enable both teachers and students to exhibit their full potential,” he said.—AAC
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) announced that it has completed the construction of a new flood control structure in Alangalang town in Leyte.
In a statement released on Thursday , the DPWH said the new structure is designed to protect residents as the municipality is highly susceptible to flooding.
“The five-meter-high flood control wall was built to protect lives and properties by containing the waters which may rise to minimal levels during extreme weather events,” DPWH Secretary Mark Villar was quoted as saying.
In can be recalled that in 2018, a number of families from Barangay Salvacion and nearby barangays in Alangalang had to be evacuated after floodwaters brought about by Tropical Depression Agaton inundated eight towns in Leyte province.
Villar said a total of P40.95 Million was allocated under the 2018 General Appropriations Act (GAA) for the construction of the new 168-meter riprap and revetment wall in Barangay Salvacion in the town of Alangalang, Leyte.
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