Pork-funded projects unfinished, abandoned

by Chiara Zambrano, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 28 2013 11:24 PM | Updated as of Aug 29 2013 12:36 PM

MANILA - Commission on Audit (COA) records show a road and a building in Albay were constructed using the pork barrel of lawmakers worth millions of pesos.

But the road is unfinished and the building has been abandoned.

Somewhere in Barangay Mariawa is supposedly a road that connects Legazpi City to Daraga in Albay province.

ABS-CBN News set out to look for it, with people telling the news team to follow one road until it ended on muddy tracks .

According to the COA, the Department of Public Works and Highways reported that the Mariawa-Anislag Road project was completed in 2009.

The news team went on foot to try and find where the road project is.

People said a muddy track is already the Mariawa-Anislag Road project.

It is only fit for trekking, which even a carabao will find it hard to pass through.

"Kung pupunta sila ng Mariawa, maglalakad sila galing doon papunta dito. Kasi walang sasakyan dito, dahil nga ang daan, sira-sira," said resident Roque Dagta.

Along the way, a family is seen busy shoveling mud and stones for their tricycle to pass through .

A woman carrying hand-made rope for selling said the unpaved muddy road is difficult for traveling, even for adults. It is harder for children who needed to walk to school.

"Sana magawa na itong daan, para sa mga anak ko, para makapasok sila ng paaralan nang 'di na mapuputikan," said Marissa Marabilla.

Somewhere along the way, a few hundred meters of cemented pavement is seen before it gave way to dirt and grass once again.

Myra Pontuya, who lives near the road project's cemented section, could offer no explanation as to why it was built that way.

"Basta Presidente pa si Gloria nung inumpisahan yan." she said. "Sabi wala na daw pondo."

The COA report pegs the construction of the supposed road project at P28 million.

It is among the list of inadequate infrastracture projects supposedly funded from the pork barrel of legislators.

The COA recently came out with the report on the questionable and allegedly anomalous use of the legislators' Priority Development Assistance Funds from 2007 to 2009.

Another questionable project can be found on the island of Bacacay.

On the island sits a multi-purpose building build by the Department of Public Works and Highways Region 5 using funds from the pork barrel of legislators.

A big chapel stand on one side and an open space is in the middle. The building costs P19 million.

The COA report did name the legislators who funded the project.

The DPWH said the building was meant to boost tourism for Bacacay town.

But a resident said his townmates barely go there.

"Halos ang pumupunta dito yung mga malaki ang pera," said Jun Parsan. "hindi basta-basta kasi kailangan private, wala namang biyahe dito."

The thin section of the wooden wall already has cracks and parts of the ceiling are damaged as well.

The DPWH said the local government of Bacacay should help with the maintenance of the building.

However, this drew the ire of Bacacay Mayor Tobias Betito. He said the town never even knew about the DPWH project.

"That is a private business in a government property!" he said. "Kalokohan yan! Wala kaming natatanggap diyan, ni singko. Nalaman na lang namin nakatayo na yan."

DPWH Regional Director Danile Dequito declined to comment on the projects until after he inspects them.

He also said they were completed before his term. - with ANC