MANILA — A lawmaker on Friday questioned the inter-agency transfer of funds between the Department of Information and Communications Technology and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority for the implementation of a national broadband project.
According to Northern Samar 1st District Rep. Paul Ruiz Daza, there was no disclosure made to Congress about the transfer of P1.1 billion fund for the Free Wi-Fi for All Program.
"I think it's probably illegal and definitely immoral for agencies to do that," he told ANC's "Headstart".
The MMDA also has no legal capacity to accept such funds, Daza pointed out.
"MMDA's charter is traffic management, LGU coordination and I think waste management. I don't remember reading in their charter ICT development," he said.
It also raises suspicion that there was only one bidder for a big-ticket project, Daza said.
"Nakakapagtataka. Ang daming malalaking kompanya sa Manila, bakit isa lang nagbi-bid?" he said.
Daza urged Congress, which is mandated to enact the General Appropriations Act, to come up with a clear guidance about fund transfers.
"It's become a loophole and that has to be addressed by the House leaderships," he said.
"Once and for all, come up with a clear provision either in the budget law, what we call the General Appropriations Act, or come up with a specific law."
In a press briefing Thursday, the MMDA said there was nothing irregular in the fund transfer.
"We did not receive P3 or P4 billion. What we received was only P1.1 billion," MMDA acting chairman Romando Artes said in Filipino.
He added, "The inter-agency transfer of funds is not prohibited. It is not suspicious or illegal. The transfer of funds among agencies is normal because we help eac other implement projects."