Palace: No changes in budget for Edsa rehab-A A +A
Thursday, February 7, 2013
MANILA -- Malacañang said Thursday that there will be no changes in the budget for the rehabilitation of Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (Edsa) even if President Benigno Aquino III decided to defer its execution.
In a press briefing Presidential Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang said there is no reason to adjust the P3.1 billion budget for the repair of the country's most congested highway.
"We don't anticipate any increase right now," Carandang said.
"It shouldn't take the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) very long to make a determination as to whether or not they have taken all the measures," he added.
He said the adjustment on budget will depend on how long the project will be suspended but if it pushes through within the fiscal year, there should be no changes on it.
"It is not something that we expect to drag out until the end of this fiscal year. We don't think it will take that long so we don't anticipate any increase in the budget simply because of this review," the Palace official said.
Aquino ordered the suspension of the DPWH project as he wanted the agency to find ways on how to mitigate traffic on the 23.8-kilometer highway before the implementing the project.
The repair was supposed to start in May.
"Suspended 'yung target ng May for the beginning of the rehabilitation until such time that we can be convinced that all actions that can be taken have been taken with regard to minimizing the impact of the Edsa rehab on traffic," said Carandang.
He noted that 40 percent of the lanes will be unusable when the project starts.
Carandang, meanwhile, denied that the suspension has something to do with the upcoming elections.
"No, absolutely, nothing to do with the elections. This is purely a logistical issue. Even if it's—we're not on an election year, we would have done the same thing anyway," he said. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)