House to allow changes in proposed infra projects for Bohol, Cebu-A A +A
Thursday, October 17, 2013
LAWMAKERS representing Bohol and Cebu will be allowed to revise their proposed infrastructure projects for 2014 after the two provinces suffered damages to their roads and bridges due to a magnitude-7.2 earthquake last Tuesday.
Following the scrapping of their yearly P70-million controversial priority development assistance funds (PDAF), members of the House of Representatives were allowed to recommend infrastructure projects worth P24.5 million to be strictly implemented in their districts by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
Each House member is entitled to five projects for the construction and rehabilitation of local roads/bridges/footbridges, classrooms or academic buildings, multi-purpose buildings, and level 2 and 3 water supply systems or "Salintubig" program.
"In so far as the roads and bridges are concerned, these (projects) are in accordance with the guidelines we have. Whether they want to put everything into rehabilitating the major thoroughfares or the important bridges there, it is up to them. They can do it. When we meet in the bicam, we can still make changes at that point," House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. told reporters Thursday.
Belmonte was referring to the bicameral conference committee, the meeting of the House and Senate contingents on the proposed General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 2014. The bicam reconciles conflicting provisions, if any, in their respective proposed GAAs.
Earlier, the House Speaker said 287 out of the 294 congressmen have already submitted their proposed infrastructure projects for next year.
Bohol and Cebu received the wrath of the deadly quake, which has already killed at least 156 persons aside from the substantial damages it caused to highways, bridges, government buildings, including government centers and classrooms, and iconic centuries-old churches.
Meanwhile, Belmonte said the House leadership was also considering making voluntary contributions to help the victims of the earthquake.
"As for us in Congress, we need to talk about the help that we will extend. I expect a lot of us to help...I am thinking of (helping through our) salaries under voluntary contributions," Belmonte said.
Marikina Representative Romero Quimbo urged his colleagues to allot P20,000 out of their salaries to help those affected by the quake. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)