MANILA - House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr on Wednesday urged officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to explain the selection process for flood control projects when they appear in a hearing on alleged budget insertions the chamber set on Jan. 3.
Andaya said the House Committee on Rules will focus on the alleged Sorsogon flood control scam, where contractor CT Leoncio purportedly cornered billions worth of projects in the Bicol region.
“Gusto namin maliwanagan kung ano bang proseso sa pagpili at ‘yung pagpili ng project at ano bang basehan? Nabalitaan namin wala pong masterplan, anything goes ho dito... mali mali ho ang priority," Andaya said in an interview on DZMM radio.
(We want to be enlightened as to the process of choosing projects and the basis. We've heard that there was no master plan. Anything goes here. The priority is wrong.)
"Ang mga pinaglagyan nila ng flood control, ‘yun ang mga lugar na walang baha. Bilyon po ang inilagay, wala naman insidente ng major flooding,” he added.
(Flood control projects were placed in areas with no floods. Billions were placed but there was no major flooding incidence.)
New developments will be revealed during the probe including a sudden "7,000 percent" increase in projects of CT Leoncio in 2017, the lawmaker said. The firm is known to be a single proprietorship.
Members of the House of Representatives in December grilled Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno about the alleged P75-billion budget insertion.
Meanwhile, the proposed 2019 national budget is unlikely to be signed until Feb. 7, according to the Senate's "tentative calendar for the 2019 budget" released earlier by Senate Majority Floor Leader Miguel Zubiri.