UNA official claims Roxas has P1.9B 'pork'-A A +A
Sunday, August 25, 2013
MANILA -- The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) on Sunday questioned the supposed P1.9-billion "pork barrel" funds of Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas II of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
In a statement, UNA Secretary General and Navotas Representative Tobias Tiangco questioned the P76 million appropriation earmarked for climate change adaptation, the P573 million for potable water supply for waterless municipalities and barangays, and P1.25 billion for housing intended for informal settlers in Metro Manila.
“Why would we give extra appropriation to DILG on budgetary support for housing, water system and climate change when there are already budgetary support to key government agencies already handling these concerns? Climate change at pabahay ba ang core competence ng DILG?" asked Tiangco.
"I believe this is the first time that the DILG has appointed itself as the champion for climate change, potable water and mass housing. Perfect na ba ang situation ng Peace and Order sa ating bansa na dapat bigyan si SuperMAR at kunin ang budget at trabaho na mandato ng ibang ahensya," he added.
The lawmaker called the amounts "questionable and highly irregular insertions" in the proposed 2014 budget submitted by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to Congress.
The matter raised by Tiangco came following President Benigno Aquino III's pronouncements that the priority development assistance funds (PDAF) allocated to congressmen and senators will be abolished.
Tiangco said the P1.9-billion budget could be used as part of Roxas' political ambition to run for president in the 2016 national elections.
Senate President Franklin Drilon earlier said that the ruling Liberal Party (LP) will field Roxas as its presidential candidate.
Roxas' biggest rival could likely be Vice President Jejomar Binay, now president of the UNA political coalition.
In a text message, DBM Secretary Florencio "Butch" Abad said it was no longer surprising that Tiangco would make such accusations.
"Tiangco? No wonder," Abad, also a stalwart of LP, briefly replied. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)