Several senators brought up their frustrations on “lump sumps” infrastructure and anti-insurgency funds for 2021 which they think are “open to corruption” and might be used to boost the election war chest of politicians in the succeeding year.
Senate Majority Leader Franklin Drilon pointed out that several items in the DPWH budget lack specific projects to be funded for, and these are big amounts that can be considered as lump sums.
“I would like to attribute good faith, but you cannot discount that this is part of the preparation for 2022.”
“I have been in Congress long enough that if there’s anything we should exercise extra vigilance on, it is called ‘election year budget’ because that would be the source of favors that those in power will be dispensing.”
Drilon also noted that the P16.4 billion anti-insurgency funds included “soft projects” such as medical assistance, burial, transportation, food, cash for work; and educational assistance.
“These are precisely the items which in the past enabled the corruption,” said the senator, citing as example the P728-million fertilizer fund scam.
“It is open to corruption and abuse for the 2022 elections,” he said.
The Senate continues to hold briefings in preparation for the 2021 budget, simultaneous with the deliberations happening in the House of Representatives.