Change may be coming to how funding allocations for infrastructure projects are allocated among lawmakers under the leadership of House Speaker Lord Allan Jay Velasco.
The Marinduque lawmaker said Friday (October 16) that he will do all that he can to ensure funding is “fairly” distributed among lawmakers following the uproar over the supposed hefty allocations that went to districts of ousted Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and his allies.
“With the unequal distribution pinag-aaralan namin kung di pa namin magawa ngayon, meron pa naman next year pero as much as possible do everything we can fairly distribute the ano,” Velasco said following the passage on third and final reading of the proposed P4.5-trillion national budget for 2021.
Asked if the possible changes to the budget will affect Taguig, Cayetano’s bailiwick, and Camarines Sur, where his ally, Luis Raymund Villafuerte, hails from, Velasco said: “If it’s there already, no movement unless yung pinaglagyan natin eh di talaga karapat-dapat at mas kailangan sa ibang responses for COVID.”
Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. had claimed that Camarines Sur and Taguig will be getting P11.8 billion and P8 billion worth of projects, respectively, under the proposed 2021 national budget.
Lawmakers’ discontent about the alleged unequal distribution of funds was reportedly one of the reasons they were dissatisfied with Cayetano’s leadership that they were easily convinced to support Velasco’s speakership bid.
Senator Panfilo Lacson earlier said the squabble over the speakership could be traced to pork barrel funds. He said there were lump sum funds of at least P469 million under the Department of Budget and Management’s proposed allocation, which have been reappropriated.