Press Release
September 10, 2020

DBCC briefing on the proposed 2021 National Expenditure Program
Sept. 10, 2020

Sen. Grace Poe: My next question is actually for the priority set by the government. Since COVID-19 is still present, one will assume that improving our health facilities would be the priority. My question is bakit mas malaki ang funding ng flood control projects ng DPWH sa buong budget ng DOH? I mean, I just want to clarify kasi ang pondo ng DOH ay P131.22 billion pero ang pondo ng DPWH for flood control projects ay at least P150 billion. Who can answer that and clarify?

DBM Sec. Wendel Avisado: Mr. Chair, if I may, this can be supported by Secretary Karl. We were guided by the priorities of the government and for sure, even as we go through the process of really allocating all of these funds, we are trying to, we did our best but even so, we will always fall short because of the ambivalence of the environment. But certainly, our desire, your honor, is really to strike a balance between health and economy and we're looking at precisely partnering with Congress and looking into this. We're not saying that we're absolute in our calculation of what should really go to each of these departments, but certainly the task is daunting and that's why this will go through the process and we would like to work with you on this. If you think that there's much more to be done, we will work this out together, your honor.

Poe: Thank you, Secretary Avisado. I understand your predicament. Of course environmental factors should not be neglected and there's really some legitimate flood control projects, but as you know there are few flood control projects that are questionable because it's very hard to keep track of them if they were really done. Yes, you are right, I think we can look at this in depth when we have our individual hearings for the departments and ask DPWH to clarify...

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