Sen. Panfilo Lacson lamented the “greed of some lawmakers” reflected in the P1.45 trillion budget for 2021, citing the prioritization of funding for their projects over COVID-19 response programs.
Funds for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines were cut by at least P28.35 billion after the Congress bicameral conference committee decided to increase the Department of Public Works and Highways’ (DPWH) fund, claimed Lacson.
Lacson is also the lone senator who rejected the ratification of the 2021 national budget.
“Even the leadership of the DPWH would agree na hindi nila kaya i-absorb [‘yung increase]. Kapag hindi involved ‘yung DPWH sa planning, ang resulta underutilization ng budget. How could they implement something, a project na hindi naman nila plinano?” he said.
The senator earlier alluded that the budget increase may be insertions to fund politicians’ election campaign for 2022.
“The net increase…could only indicate massive realignments and insertions introduced by the legislators. It begs the question: is this an election campaign budget?”
Lacson also said he plans to formally write to Malacañang to offer help in identifying “unreasonable reductions” and realignments under the 2021 spending bill.