MANILA -- Both the budget chief and the appropriations committee chair denied reports that party-list lawmakers will also be getting a P50-million fund for disbursement for national roads and bridges.
Representative Angelo Palmones of Alyansa ng mga Grupo ng Haligi ng Agham at Teknolohiya para sa Mamamayan (AGHAM) said Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson assured party-list lawmakers of the P50-million allocation.
However, Budget Secretary Florencio "Butch" Abad and Committee on Appropriations chairman Representative Joseph Emilio Abaya said there is no truth to the issue.
"There is no agreement. Those are discussions, those are recommendations. (There is) nothing firm on that," Abaya told reporters in an interview.
Abad also told Sun.Star in a text message that "(the reports are) not true".
Abaya added if the P50-million funds are appropriated to party-list lawmakers, it would be unclear where it will be allocated since they do not cater to geographical constituencies.
"Ang tanong, may constituency din in terms of road projects ang party-lists and mahabang debate yan dahil if you're regional, probably yes if you represent a region pero kung representante ka ng security guards, then ang hirap naman i-relate," he noted.
District congressmen were earlier guaranteed a minimum of P50 million for road projects in their areas to ensure equitable distribution of funds from the Department of Public Works and Highways. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)