House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr has revealed that 99 lawmakers are set to get even bigger allocations than his congressional district in Camarines Sur and that of Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in Pampanga.
Andaya, who represents the 1st District of Camarines Sur, said he only ranked 186th in terms of allocation while Arroyo, who represents the Second District of Pampanga, ranked 100th.
“Just to clarify, the allocation of our Speaker, she actually ranked about 100th. There are around 99 congressmen with bigger allocations for their districts. For my district, I only ranked 186th,” he told reporters.
Andaya bared that an anonymous lawmaker was set to receive a whopping P8bn for his congressional district.
“We are talking, we are dealing with institutions here…I cannot answer that right now. But to me, we just want to clarify the situation,” he said.
The clarification came two days after Sen. Panfilo Lacson alleged that a certain congressman received an additional P1.9bn and a congresswoman had received P2.4bn for their districts.
Lacson did not reveal in his interpellation who the lawmakers were but had implied in an interview that the districts were those of Andaya and Arroyo, respectively.
Andaya said it would be up to the bicameral conference committee to discuss possible amendments dealing with insertions, which have been distributed out of “misplaced generosity.”
“We did not ask for these insertions but they were approved by the plenary. We are dealing with institutions. Likewise, we also have to deal with the Senate through Finance Committee chairman Sen. Loren Legarda. So it will be up to the bicam to discuss what will happen,” he added.
The majority leader previously said the appropriations for Camarines Sur were for a road project, which was requested by the regional director of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
Acting House Appropriations Committee Chairman Carmen Zamora previously said Arroyo’s district only had an additional P500mn, equating to a total of P1.9bn funds for farm-to-market road projects based on realignments submitted by the DPWH for Pampanga.
Andaya previously told Manila Times that the amount for lawmakers’ pet projects could not be tagged as “pork” but rather, legal proposals for their congressional districts.
He said they intend to comply with a decision of the Supreme Court, which outlawed the pork barrel or the Priority Development Assistance Fund or PDAF.
On Friday, Lacson urged Arroyo and Andaya to show good faith by declining their P4.3bn pork barrel allocations in the national budget for 2019.
“Since Andaya claims that the huge earmarks for his and Arroyo’s districts are a case of ‘misplaced gesture of generosity,’ maybe they can display a ‘genuine gesture of good faith’ by deleting or reducing those humongous allocations,” Lacson said on his Twitter account.
The senator maintained that if the appropriations committee disobeyed orders from the House leadership, the beneficiaries should return the amounts.
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