Deliberations of the Department of Public Works and Highways proposed 2021 budget were suspended due to the absence of top officials during the budget hearing in the Housee of Representatives’ Committee on Appropriations.
The said hearing was attended by only two of six undersecretaries and three of five assistant secretaries. Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, who was virtually present via Zoom, was questioned on why their proposed budget only had few details.
House Minority Leader Benny Abante brought up the absence of top officials of the department, saying that the budget deliberation was held in the plenary hall big enough to accommodate them.
“With due respect Mr. Chair, mahirap makipag-usap ng mahusay rito (it is difficult to discuss well here) because even the DICT admitted that our internet is very slow, so Mr. Chair, with reservation, I would like to move for a deferment of the deliberation of this budget,” Abante said.
The DPWH proposed 2021 budget is at P667.3 billion, 34 percent higher than what it got in 2020. It is also second among the departments which received the bulk of the P4.506 trillion national budget for the next fiscal year.