"We are halfway through the President's term and yet he is still cleaning up the government."
Last Jan. 3, the House of Representatives immediately went back to work and conducted its investigation on the alleged budget insertions in the 2019 General Appropriations in Naga, Camarines Sur. The investigation revealed numerous irregularities involving the budget of flood control projects in the Bicol region, particularly in Casiguran and Sorsogon.
First notable irregularity is the awarding of projects to C.T. Leoncio Construction when it is apparent that the construction firm failed to prove its net financial capacity. The law requires that contractors must be assessed of its net financial capacity and must possess the necessary equipment and manpower in each project. From the reports received by Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr., C.T. Leoncio failed to satisfy these requirements yet was awarded with numerous infrastructure projects. Secondly, Sorsogon and Catanduanes received huge amounts for flood control projects, but such amounts are funneled to certain municipalities only. Strangely, those municipalities are not identified as flood-prone areas, while those identified as flood-prone by various studies did not receive adequate amounts.
These revelations bring to surface certain actions that are inconsistent with the administration’s intolerance of reproachable actions.
It can be recalled that the President appointed some of his fraternity brothers but remained impartial as to the assessment of their performance. He removed them once found that their actions were below the President’s threshold for integrity and quality public service. Perhaps, it is the time again that Mr. Duterte pay closer attention to the performance of his cabinet members.
We are halfway through the President’s term and he is still cleaning up the government. This continuing problem of corruption hampers the delivery of the needed public goods and services, and ultimately delays the progress of our nation.
We need a clean and honest governance, free from personal bias and conflicts of interest. I reiterate my call to government agencies to be transparent in the budget utilization and follow protocol on the procurement, bidding, and project implementation.