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Mindanao gets big share of DPWH 2021 outlays

MINDANAO will receive a huge allocation for capital outlays allotted to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in 2021.

At the budget briefing of his agency before the House of Representatives on Thursday, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar said DPWH has been granted a total of P667.3 billion budget in 2021.

The 2021 DPWH’s budget is 15 percent higher than its 2020 allocation of P581.6 billion.

Of the 2021 allocation, P9.1 billion will go to personnel services; P14.1 billion for maintenance and other operating expenses; P634 billion for capital outlay (CO) and P850 million as automatic appropriations, which include retirement and life insurance premium and the Motor Vehicle User’s Charge (MVUC).

Meanwhile, based on the presentation of the DPWH, Mindanao will receive P180.6 billion as capital outlays and these include P25.15 billion for Region 13; P47.48 billion for Region 10; P27.29 billion for Region 9; P56.33 billion for Region 11 and P24.42 billion for Region 12.

Receiving the second highest CO allocation is Southern Luzon, for a total of P120.7 billion. Of this budget, P55.98 billion is alloted for Region 4A; P21.50 billion for Region 4B and P43.27 billion for Region 5.

For 2021, Northen Luzon will receive a total of P110 billion or P17.65 billion for Cordillera Administrative Region; P24.59 billion for Region 1; P20.24 billion for Region 2 and P47.68 billion for Region 3.

The Visayas will receive a total of P87.84 billion and the National Capital Region, P51.54 billion.

Moreover, the DPWH has also allotted P179.4 billion next year to ensure a safe and reliable national road system and P84.3 billion to protect lives and properties against major floods. These two operations are also included as CO.

To ensure a safe and reliable national road system, the agency has appropriated P46.2 billion for its Asset Prevention Program and P109.9 billion for its network development, which includes road widening, construction and diversion of roads and flyovers.

The DPWH also allocated P23.1 billion to its Bridge Program, which covers replacement of temporary to permanent bridges, replacement of weak bridges, retrofitting, repair and widening of permanent bridges, and construction of new permanent bridges.

During the submission of the DPWH budget to Congress, the Department of Budget and Management said the Duterte administration will continue to advance the Build, Build, Build program despite the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Negros Oriental Rep. Arnulfo Teves questioned the DPWH’s basis for the budget allocation per district of congressmen.

Teves also asked the DPWH to submit the list of districts with highest and lowest allocation next year, noting his district will only receive almost P2 billion while Taguig and Camarines Sur are getting P8 billion and P11.8 billion, respectively.

Villar, however, explained that the basis of allocation for legislative district is not necessarily absorptive capacity, but it includes the pipeline of the projects.

“We don’t have the immediate breakdown of each legislative district. That’s why we have to come up with it, and submit it. Everyone is welcome to scrutinize the per legislative [district] breakdown,” he said.

Meanwhile, the briefing of the DPWH was deferred after Minority Leader Bienvenido Abante noted that there are only two undersecretaries present at the plenary.

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