Diokno: Flood scam not true

BUDGET Secretary Benjamin Diokno.

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno issued a statement Monday denying the accusations linking the Budget chief to an alleged fund scam involving flood mitigation structures and drainage programs managed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The allegations came from House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr.

But according to the Department of Budget and Managment (DBM), Andaya’s assertion that some P332 billion worth of projects are actually non-existent flood control projects was “irresponsible and misleading.”

“First, the amount representing the proposed allocation for fiscal year (FY) 2019 cannot be accounted for yet. There are no existing projects for 2019 as the 2019 budget has yet to be legislated, much less implemented,” the agency said.

“Second, the amounts allocated in the FY 2017 and 2018 GAA (General appropriations Act) were reviewed, amended and approved by both Houses of Congress before approval of the President,” it added.

Likewise, the DBM refuted claims of preferential treatment on the distribution of funds for certain areas or districts in addition to the fact that the agency “has no hand” in determining the projects that should be implemented as this was DPWH’s responsibility.

“Even then, the DBM is not privy to the specific project listing under each program and region during budget preparation. The agency budget proposal submitted by the DPWH will only present their target allocation for the upcoming fiscal year by program and total allocation per region,” the DBM said.

“The DBM evaluates each program based on the program’s budget utilization rates in previous years,” the agency said.