Sen. Panfilo Lacson thoroughly examined the planned projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) under its proposed P530 billion budget for 2020.               

Among those noticed by Lacson are projects bearing two allocations like that for Kennon Road, incomplete details for road projects intended for some Metro Manila cities, Ilocos Norte, Pangasinan and Bataan provinces as well as a bridge project related to agrarian reform.               

Lacson also criticized the return of the budget for desilting, declogging and dredging activities which had been barred during the 2019 budget discussion.               

Projects questioned by Lacson are worth more than two billion pesos.

There is also an entry for a half a million-peso budget for the construction of bridges.

“Another project is in Region 1. Ang nakalagay dito an item construction of bridges on the entire Ilocos Norte, P500k . Anong klaseng tulay po ang papagawa natin? Bridges ha, hindi ito bridge,” Lacson said.

Lacson insisted that he just wants to ensure a glitch-free DPWH budget. He also clarified that he is not targeting any legislator.

Ang overall impression is poor planning. Kasi pag poor ang planning, nag-suffer minsan implementation kaya ang nagyayari ang laki ng unused appropriations,” he said.

The DPWH vowed to complete the details for the said projects. DPWH Sec. Mark Villar also gave assurances that there are no “parked funds” in the agency’s budget as claimed by Lacson.

“In-explain naman namin na pag local roads walang station limits. Yung mga local roads naman natin hindi masyadong mahabapero sa national roads lahat ng item na pinoint out po ni Senator Lacson, we included in our the errata, so maihahabol po,” Villar said.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon meanwhile confronted the DPWH with government data detailing the number of delivered roads and bridges by the Aquino administration contrary to Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo’s claim that it failed to deliver even one infrastructure project.

So hindi naman totoo na walang nagawa ang nakaraang administration,” Drilon said.

Sa amin naman all projects are for the Filipino people. It’s irrelevant kung sinong nagsimula. Ang importante lang, tatapusin namin,” Villar answered.

The DPWH’s proposed budget was able to hurdle the Senate’s scrutiny before lunchtime Wednesday (Jasper Camilo)