By Charmaine A. Tadalan, December 16 2018, Business World


Image Credit to Manila Bulletin

THE ALLEGED parked funds for flood mitigation projects will be up for scrutiny by the House rules committee, Majority Leader Rolando G. Andaya, Jr. said.

“The (fund) parking scheme, facilitated by the DBM (Department of Budget and Management), may eventually explain the huge spike allocated to flood mitigation projects from 2017 to 2018,” Mr. Andaya said in a statement on Sunday.

He explained that flood mitigation projects increased to P133 billion in 2018 from P79 billion in 2017.

Further, Mr. Andaya said of the P544.5-billion proposed budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), P114.4 billion is allocated to fund flood control projects.

The solon said the DPWH appears to be “clueless” on many of these projects.

“Marami sa flood control projects hindi kasama sa P488 billion na original proposed budget ngDPWH (Many of the flood control projects were not included in the original P488-billion proposed budget),” he said.

Moreover, Mr. Andaya claims that a local executive from the Bicol Region told him that a former Cabinet member was behind at least P300 million in parked funds for infrastructure projects under the 2019 proposed budget.

“The mayor, who requested not to be named in the meantime, disclosed that the Cabinet member parked the allocation in flood mitigation projects for the region,” Mr. Andaya said.

The Majority leader said such allegations will all be tackled in the scheduled investigation of the rules committee on Jan. 3, 2019.

The investigation will cover, among other issues, the agreements signed with CT Leoncio Trading and Construction and Aremar Construction, and the P75 billion augmentation in the DPWH budget.

These stemmed from the Question Hour conducted at the House of Representatives last Tuesday, attended by Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno, on alleged irregularities in the 2019 budget. — Charmaine A. Tadalan