ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Eric Yap may be a neophyte congressman, but he’s enjoying perks more senior lawmakers can only dream of.
Yap confirmed Wednesday (November 25) that Benguet’s allocation in the proposed P4.5-trillion national budget for 2021 got bigger when Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco became the Speaker.
He, however, said it was the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) that pushed for the increase.
“Ang nadagdagan Benguet. Ako yun, caretaker. So ako, hindi naman ako ally ni Speaker Velasco. Hindi rin ako ally ni Speaker Cayetano. I remain neutral, pero the agency initiated na madagdagan because there’s a priority project dito sa Benguet, which is the [inaudible] national project, Build Build Build,” Yap said.
Earlier in the day, Senator Panfilo Lacson told ANC’s “Headstart” that there were “noticeable” increases in the allocations of Velasco’s allies after the leadership change in the House in October.
Lacson also said the budgets of lawmakers allied with Velasco’s rival, former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, were slashed under the version of the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) submitted by the House to the Senate.
Yap has been the caretaker of Benguet’s lone district in the House following the death of Rep. Nestor Fongwan Sr. last year.
The party-list lawmaker, who’s known to be close to presidential son and Davao City Rep. Paolo Duterte, disputed Lacson’s claim about the reduction in the allocations of Cayetano’s supporters.
“Malabong mangyari na tinanggalan yung tao ni Speaker Cayetano, dinagdagan yung tao ni Speaker Velasco. Wala pong ganoong nangyari sa GAB,” he said.