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After securing P10-billion worth of government infrastructure projects for the current year, the congressional districts of couple lawmakers House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Taguig Rep. Lani Cayetano are reportedly getting an additional P11 billion in public works budget under the 2021 National Expenditure Program (NEP).

Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves made the revelation in questioning the huge slice for the congressional districts of the Cayetanos—who represent the first and second districts of Taguig-Pateros in Congress— for the public works allocation for the entire National Capital Region (NCR) despite its small population.

“For 2021, Taguig-Pateros will be getting a total of P11,113,791,000 under the budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), both from the central office of NCR and district engineering office (DEO),” Teves said, citing the 2021 NEP which is now under consideration by the House plenary.

According to Teves, the allotment for the two congressional districts controlled by the Speaker and his wife is “too big considering that in terms of population, Taguig-Pateros is just 6 percent of Metro Manila.”

He noted that based on the 2015 census, the combined population of Taguig City and the Municipality of Pateros is 868,755, while the total population of NCR is at 12.9 million.

Teves stressed that out of the total P25 billion in public works budget for the DPWH-NCR for next year, a whopping P7.92 billion or 38 percent goes to Taguig City and Pateros.

“On top of this, its two congressional districts will receive an additional P3.2 billion under the DEO budget,” he added.

The Negros solon said what’s more shocking was that the allocation for Taguig City and Pateros “is higher than the DPWH funds allotted for each of the other 15 regions across the country.”

“Mas malaki pa ang pondong nakalaan para sa Taguig-Pateros kumpara sa P7.26 billion para sa buong Region IV-A o CALABARZON na pinakamalaki sa lahat ng rehiyon maliban sa NCR,” Teves said.

“Samantala, halos P1.39 billion lang ang nakalaan para sa buong Region XIII o Caraga. How is that fair and equitable?” he added.

Under the 2020 General Appropriations Act (GAA), Teves said the bailiwick of the Cayetano couple got infrastructure projects worth P10.03 billion—P7.12 billion from DPWH-NCR and P2.195 from DEO.

He also noted that before Cayetano became Speaker, his congressional district in Taguig-Pateros only received P2.4 billion and P3 billion in DPWH funds in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

“Kitang-kita ang laki ng deperensya ng halaga ng natatanggap ng Taguig-Pateros ngayon, kumpara nung ‘di pa siya Speaker,” Teves said.

Earlier, Teves decried what he described as an “unequal distribution” of DPWH funds to various districts in the country.

During the committee deliberations on the DPWH budget last month, Teves questioned the massive allocation for some legislative districts, including those represented by the House leader and Rep. Lani.

He lamented that while his district ranked number 8 in absorptive capacity in the whole country, it was only allocated less than P2 billion, while other districts were allotted more than P8 billion to P11 billion in infrastructure funds. (CMC)

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