House to start budget 'anomaly' probe in January


Posted at Dec 13 2018 06:26 PM

MANILA - The House Committee on Rules will start its probe on the alleged 2019 national budget insertions on January 3, House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr said Thursday.

In a statement, Andaya said the committee would summon a Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) regional director, two district engineers from Sorsogon and a district engineer from Catanduanes. 

The construction firm CT Leoncio, which allegedly cornered projects worth billions in the Bicol region, will also receive a subpoena, Andaya said. 

The committee also intends to summon Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno to clarify the P75-billion "insertions" on the proposed 2019 DPWH budget. 

The insertion, Andaya claimed, was a "mismanagement" on the side of Diokno and would cause "an economic slowdown."

During the House Question Hour held Wednesday, Diokno maintained that that there was nothing anomalous in the amount added to the DPWH budget. 

"I am particularly interested in knowing the total amount of payables that the DBM owe to contractors and suppliers this year," Andaya said. 

The Palace, however, said President Rodrigo Duterte still trusts Diokno after the House of Representatives issued a resolution calling for his removal. 

At least three Senators on Thursday said it was unlikely for the Senate to finish the deliberations on the 2019 General Appropriations Act (GAA) before the session ends. The House, on the other hand, expressed intent to hold a special session in order to ratify the proposed 2019 national budget for 2019.