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Abad-era policy on government biddings continues under Diokno – Andaya

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

House Majority Floor Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. recently bared that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has been providing allocations for government projects that were not yet approved by Congress.

Andaya made the statement in connection with the P75-billion worth of allocations inserted in proposed 2019 budget of the Department of Publics Works and Highways (DPWH) which was admitted by Budget Sec. Benjamin Diokno during last Tuesday’s “Question Hour” in the House plenary.

According to Andaya, he has documents to prove the DBM under Diokno allegedly continues an illegal scheme that started during the time of former Budget Sec. Florencio Abad wherein, government projects that are still in the drawing board were already distributed for bidding process even though the proposed 2019 budget has yet to be approved.

“Mayroon kaming nakuhang DBM circular na nagsasabi na yung mga alokasyon sa budget kahit hindi pa napapasa ng Kongreso e puwede ng i-bid. So, wala pang may alam, wala pang may alam kung ano yung mga proyektong gagawin e napag-uusapan na,” sabi ni Andaya.

Andaya stressed that the said scheme started way back in 2010 during the time of Abad, and is still being continue by the present leader leadership of DBM under Diokno—the proposed projects have already been rolled out to some “favored contractors” for bidding even though Congress has yet to approve the annual General Appropriations Act (GAA).

“So, ang order nito, department circular na ‘to, sinasabi na pwede mong i-bid out na ang mga kotrata kahit wala pang approved na budget,” said Andaya.

Andaya is convinced that there were some proposed projects under the P75-billion ‘Diokno insertions’ in the DPWH budget were already rolled out for public bidding since even without any Congressional approval that’s why the budget chief has been making consistent calls to senators and members of the lower house to fast-track the approval of the proposed 2019 NEP without any amendments.

“Kaya alam mo na ngayon kung bakit ayaw ipabago yung budget. Kung ba’t minamadali at ini-insist na walang pagbabago kase hindi pa nga nabibigay sa amin ang kopya e tapos na pala ang boxing… kasi ‘yung P75-billion na bid out, (yung) mga nakalista ngayon (na projects) na nandoon ,ano na yon, binibid na ngayon yun,” Andaya explained.