Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Sunday appealed to fellow lawmakers to scrap at least for next year some P68 billion in funding for “skeleton projects,” local multi-purpose buildings that are tinged with corruption.
Lacson said the funds could better go to local government units affected by recent Typhoons Rolly, Quinta and Ulysses, as well as the Department of Information and Communication Technology’s national broadband program.
“Kung Rebound, Recover, kalimutan muna natin ang MPBs na skeleton ang hitsura. Ilang proyekto ang nakita namin na tig-P1 milyon? Napakarami, 739 multi-purpose buildings na tig-P1 milyon lang. Pinakita ko na itsura ng P2 milyon, e puro ito korteng skeleton. Kung papondohan mo 739 na tig-P1 milyon, tig-kalahating poste lang tatayo. Gusto natin isantabi muna yan,” he said in an interview on DZBB radio.
“Kaya ang aking panawagan sa kasamahan ko kung pwede isantabi muna ang P68B worth ng MPBs,” he added.
Last week, Lacson pushed for the realignment of at least P20 billion from the skeleton projects to help typhoon-hit LGUs in recovery and rehabilitaton efforts.
He proposed that the P20 billion benefit areas such as Cagayan, Bicol, and Marikina City via the Assistance to Local Government Funds and Local Government Support Fund.
On the other hand, Lacson stressed the importance of providing P18 billion to the DICT to complete the national broadband program.
He said the program, once completed, will end government agencies’ reliance on private telcos, and will result in some P34 billion in savings in five years.
“Mga P34B ang matitipid sa 5 taon. At saka new normal natin puro tayo webinar, Zoom, Internet, online learning. Di ba marapat na ang P18B bigyan sa DICT at implement nila ang NBP?” he said.