This is how House appropriations committee chairman Rolando Andaya Jr. described the statement of Senator Panfilo Lacson that the 2nd district of Pampanga is getting at least P606 million for a farm to market road project.
According to Andaya, it is unfair to accuse the House of Representatives of inserting an allocation in the national budget when what were signed during the bicameral conference committee were the total increases per department.
Andaya denied the district of Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is receiving the alleged amount as he vowed to provide media the list of each congressional allocation.
“Definitely, the Speaker’s district is not receiving that amount for farm-to-market roads,” Andaya said.
Based on the Bicam report, a copy of which was given to media, a total of P98 billion realignments were agreed upon.
The 2019 national budget amounting to P3.757 trillion was ratified by both Chambers before going on a long session break.
“There is no basis to make such a conclusion. What we signed are the total increases per department, Andaya said.
Andaya also said that nowhere in the bicam report does it appear that way because by Monday, both Houses will only start detailing of increases per department.
“Only when that is completed can we apply random sampling. Not even a senator can, at this point, determine the exact amount or specifics of the amendments approved in the bicam,” Andaya said.
“We remain true to our commitment of transparency and accountability. We will furnish media again of the details of each district allocation once it is ready for final printing,” he added.
For his part, Deputy Speaker Prospero Pichay slammed Lacson for always pointing at Speaker Arroyo.
“First of all, Senator Ping Lacson has always defied parliamentary courtesy especially since former President Gloria Arroyo, his favorite punching bag, assumed the speakership. Kitang-kita naman na hindi nawawala ang Pampanga sa kanyang mga tira,” Pichay said.