During the interpellation of the Department of Public Works and Highways’ (DPWH) budget at the Senate, Senator Panfilo Lacson bared that congressmen made huge public works fund realignments to their districts in the 2021 General Appropriations Bill (GAB), with amounts as high as P5.6 billion.
Presenting the allocations of 100 unnamed districts in the GAB, Lacson pointed out that a certain congressional district has the largest share of public works funds for a total of P15 billion. The total allocation for districts amounted to P477 billion of the over P600 billion DPWH budget.
“I remember, I think two administrations ago, we’re already surprised when we hear that a district gets P500 million in allocation. Now, we’re looking at billions – from 1 to 220 districts – more than P1 billion. Our source here is the (House of Representatives) itself,” said Lacson.
“According to my sources, they had a hand in the preparation of this list. So I am not blaming the department when it appears this way, Mr. President because practically, the congressmen made this list,” he added.
On Lacson’s list, the highest increase in DPWH funds is at P5.68 billion, which already has a proposed P9.67 billion in the National Expenditure Program (NEP). The total amount under the budget bill is at P15.35 billion.
While the senator did not name the district, he earlier said that an urban district in Davao has P15.351 billion for infrastructure projects.
The second-largest allocation went to another district with a total of P10.3 billion in public works funds. This district did not get additional funding under the GAB.
Lacson noted that the district with the lowest allocation under the proposed DPWH budget has at least P620 million.