The proposed P667 billion public works budget for 2021 is devoid of pork barrel or lump sum appropriations, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar said on Thursday.
Villar was reacting to the claim of Gabriela party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas that there were lump sum allocations in the proposed budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways.
What was alleged as lump sum, Villar said, “will go to specific projects.”
“There are no lump sum items. We already submitted the annex… the details of the projects, and I think the Committee on Appropriations will confirm that the annex has already been submitted,” Villar said.
Brosas said the supposed “lump sum” allocations in the DPWH budget were three times bigger than the proposed budget of the Department of Health for next year, which was only at P131.7 billion.
“A lot of money was given to infrastructure but the fund for health programs has been reduced,” Brosas said.
The lawmaker insisted on the presence of the P397.2 billion “lump sum” fund, which she earlier questioned during the budget deliberations of the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC).
The House panel deferred its budget briefing over concerns on the physical attendance of public works officials.