A SENATOR on Wednesday urged Congress to realign a portion of the P68-billion budget for multipurpose buildings next year after flagging 5,913 local infrastructure projects that were poorly built.
The money should be spent for the construction of evacuation centers and quarantine facilities, as well as the national broadband program, Senator Panfilo M. Lacson said during Wednesday’s debates on the P4.5-trillion budget for next year.
He presented photos of multipurpose buildings that were barely built after receiving at least P5 million funding since 2017.
He cited a multipurpose building in Bacnotan, La Union, which received P15.6 million in funding from the national budget for 2017, 2019 and 2020. The project had been allotted another P5 million for 2021, he said.
The building was still not completed, Mr. Lacson said.
He also identified road projects, including a bypass road in Cagayan de Oro City, whose construction was halted after a regional director of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) found it was unfeasible.
Mr. Lacson said the government had provided as much as P1.4 billion for the project since 2015 and was allotting another P414.5 million under the 2021 budget.
“Should we still appropriate P414 billion after spending P1.3 to 1.4 billion on a project that is no longer feasible?” he asked in Filipino.
Senator Juan Edgardo M. Angara, finance committee chairman, said he would consider Mr. Lacson’s proposals.
Meanwhile, Quezon City Rep. Alfred D. Vargas asked Congress to set aside funds for the recovery and rehabilitation of areas affected by Typhoon Goni, locally named Rolly, in the national budget for next year.
The world’s strongest storm this year destroyed almost 100,000 houses mostly in the Bicol region in eastern Philippines, and caused damage to infrastructure worth more than P11 billion.
Damage to agriculture has reached more than P2.9 billion, affecting 65,897 hectares of land.
“With the country experiencing La Niña until March next year, we must use the budget as an instrument for the recovery and rehabilitation of areas that have been devastated by Super Typhoon Rolly,” Mr. Vargas said in a statement on Wednesday. — Charmaine A. Tadalan and Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza