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Brosas questions P1.7B ‘hanging pork funds’ in 2020 DPWH budget

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

Party-list Cong. Arlene Brosas (Gabriela) on Tuesday questioned the supposed existence of “hanging pork” funds more than P1.79 billion infused under the proposed P533.496-billion budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for 2020.

Brosas said a total of 1.792-billion worth of discrepancy has been recorded between the breakdown of the DPWH’s allocations per region against the agency’s total regional allocation.
The total breakdown of the DPWH’s allocations per region according to Brosas is at 185,653,922,000 while the listed overall regional allocation is only at P183,859,666,000.

Brosas said these hanging pork funds under the direct responsibility of Public Works Sec. Mark Villar are included in the committee report approved by the powerful House Appropriations panel on Monday.

“The discrepancy in the DPWH budget, which is much bigger than the lotto jackpot, points to the persistence of pork funds,” said Brosas.

According to Brosas, the nearly P2-billion discrepancy cannot be dismissed as a clerical error because the inconsistencies of the data provided in the 2020 National Expenditure Program is also reflected in the General Appropriations Bill (GAB).

“This shows that the 2020 budget is not only infused with questionable confidential and intel funds but also filled with billions of ‘hanging pork’ insertions,” said Brosas.

Brosas believed that the billion-peso discrepancy in the DPWH allocation might be one of the reasons why the GAB on the proposed P4.1-trillion budget for 2020 has been withdrawn by Deputy Speaker Luis Raymund Villafuerte from the House plenary last August 28.

She said the amount could have been enough to build public hospitals, schools, and decent housing for the poor.

Brosas warned that there could be more discrepancies in the allocations of other government agencies.

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