Eric Yap, House committee on appropriations chairperson, said giving “equal” infrastructure budget allocations to different districts under the proposed 2021 national budget is not feasible.
“‘Yung uneven allocations, na-address siya. May ibang mga tumaas pero hindi natin kayang gawin even eh na lahat sila pantay-pantay,” Yap said in an interview after the bicam panel approved its report on the budget.
“Malabo talaga ipantay-pantay ang mga district dahil may malaking districts, may maliit, mayroong iba-ibang terrain,” he added. “Sa Albay, may ginagawa po tayong expressway dito, normal po na tataas. Katulad sa Benguet, mayroon po tayong nagko-collapse na kalsada even without typhoon ha, without calamity nagko-collapse ‘yun dahil mountainous ‘yung lugar na ‘yun.”
Build, Build, Build projects should also be considered a factor in the infrastructure budget allocation.
“We don’t look at the district, we look at the projects,” Yap said.
Last month, Camarines Sur Representative LRay Villafuerte decried the P386-million budget cut for his province’s infrastructure projects under the House-approved version of the proposed P4.5-trillion 2021 national budget.
Equal infra budget to districts not feasible – Yap
Confirming Senator Panfilo Lacson’s claim that allies of Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano received budget cuts, Villafuerte said budgets for the following projects were slashed:
- P182 million budget for the CamSur Expressway, a 15-kilometer, four-lane road with waterways, bike lanes, and sidewalks that will serve as an alternate route for motorists going to the eastern and southern municipalities and of those going to Sorsogon and Albay provinces
- P124 million for the CamSur-Albay Diversion Road, a 61.90-km road project that will decongest the main road from the province to Albay and
- P80 million for the Pasacao-Balatan Tourism Highway, a 40.69-km, four-lane coastal road along the province’s west coast that will serve as an access road to tourism sites
However, Yap said it was the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) that reallocated CamSur’s infrastructure budget.
Yap insisted that it was the DPWH itself that initiated to amend the House-approved 2021 budget, not the lawmakers.
“Si Secretary Mark kasi, sila yung may say kasi sila yung may district engineer, sila yung may regional director na magche-check ng mas kailangan,” he said.