As Congress works on passing the proposed P4.5-trillion 2021 national budget, President Duterte told lawmakers that corruption is embedded in projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
President Duterte made the statement as members of Congress started with their special session which the President called specifically for them to pass the proposed 2021 national budget.
In his Wednesday night public address, President Duterte confidently claimed that there is corruption in DPWH but was unable to name who are the officials benefitting from it.
“If Congress would want really to know, ang mga project ng DPWH meron talaga ‘yan para sa ‘give’ (there is really a portion of DPWH projects being used to ‘give’ to certain people),” he said.
“Hindi ko alam kung sino (I just don’t know who they are). There are so many officials lined up in the bureaucratic mix so hindi ko alam kung sino na (I don’t know anymore),” he added.
According to the President, corruption stinks in DPWH.
“The first whiff… Dito sa DPWH malakas ‘yan diyan. Projects, yung mga project engineers, ‘yan lahat, right-of-way (It reeks in the DPWH. The projects, project engineers, right-of-way, everything)…” he said.
“Grabe ang corruption diyan. Walang construction na uumpisa dito na walang transaction. Meron ‘yan (The corruption is worst there. No construction starts without a prior transaction. I’m sure there is corruption there),” he added.
Senators have questioned DPWH’s proposed “lump-sum-riddled” budget for 2021, citing the P345.25-billion in lump-sum appropriations lodged under the agency’s central office.
They likewise noted that the DPWH has a high allocation for local projects such as the nearly P70-billion funding for the creation of multi-purpose buildings and facilities.
DPWH is proposing a P667-billion budget for 2021, which is 52-percent more than this year’s budget.