'Illusory,' Diokno says of Andaya's budget insertion yarn

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 04 2019 04:16 PM

MANILA - Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno on Friday dismissed as "illusory" a House leader's allegation that he inserted billions of pesos in appropriations to this years budget to favor one contractor.

House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr had claimed that there was an "insertion" in the budget allegedly for flood control projects.

"His accusations are illusory. The numbers are wrong and the narrative he’s selling is not grounded on facts,” Diokno said.

Diokno reiterated that the "legitimate adjustment" was done to support the government's commitment to bring infrastructure spending to at least 5 percent of gross domestic product.

Diokno said the P114.3 billion allocation for flood control projects in 2019 was "well below" the initial DPWH request of 132.5 billion.

He also said no contractor was favored in the awarding of projects since the DBM is not involved in implementation.

"Again, the role of the DBM is to set the budget ceiling for the line agencies and to evaluate whether their programs are aligned with the government’s priorities," he said.

The House Committee on Rules on Thursday started its probe on alleged irregularities in the 2019 national budget, focusing on allocations for flood control projects of the DPWH.

-- with a report by Viviene Gulla, ABS-CBN News