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Tiba-tiba sa pork! Congressional districts guaranteed P800M infra under 2020 budget, party-list solon says

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

Each congressional district is expected to receive at least P800-million worth of infrastrcuture allotment under the proposed P534.6-billion budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for 2020, CWS Party-list Cong. Romeo Momo said.

Momo, vice-chair of the House Committee on Appropriations, said on Thursday that the lowest programmed infrastructure allocation for a congressional district is P800 million based on the submitted P4.14 trillion National Expenditure Program (NEP).

Momo also disclosed that one district is expected to receive about P5-billion infra allotments under the proposed 2020 budget.

“Well ang pinaka malaki yata nasa vicinity of P5 billion, pinaka maliit is P800 Million,” he said.

Momo, a former undersecretary for operations in the DPWH during the Aquino Administration and also serves as senior vice-chair of the Committee on Public Works in the Lower House, admitted that there is no equal distribution among districts but rather equitable allocations.

“There is already a listing kung sino ang mas malaki at maliit. Well there is no equal allocation for each district. There is an equitable allocation,” he said.

House Speaker Alan Cayetano earlier promised his colleagues equitable distribution of infrastructure allotment projects under 2020 budget.

Cayetano earlier said that he recently talked to Public Works Sec. Mark Villar, in which, the cabinet official gave an assurance that each congressmen are about to received between P400 million to P500 million infra allotments for their respective districts and constituents.

The infra allotments, according to Cayetano, were already infused under the proposed P534.3-billion 2020 budget of the DPWH.

Earlier, about 68 congressmen are pushing for the restoration of about P96-billion worth of infra allotment which either scrapped or vetoed under this year’s General Appropriations Act.

But Momo stressed that projects not included in the submitted NEP will likely not accommodated by the House appropriations panel.

“Well at this moment in time that there is already a NEP, wala na tayong ma-endorse to add… this period hindi na natin puwede idagdag yun unless ibalik natin ang NEP sa Budget Department,” said Momo.

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