House urged to look at fair criteria in infra fund appropriations

house urged to look at fair criteria in infra fund appropriations - House urged to look at fair criteria in infra fund appropriations

INFRASTRUCTURE funds under the proposed P4.5-trillion national budget for next year should be distributed fairly to congressional districts, a lawmaker said on Monday night.

During House debates the 2021 budget, Albay Rep. Edcel C. Lagman said the “inequitable allocation of funding in infrastructure projects” should be corrected. The needs of districts must be assessed based on fair standards, he added.

“At this stage of the proceedings, that is opportune for the leadership and membership of the House to establish and enforce standards,” Mr. Lagman said.

Jose Maria Clemente S. Salceda, vice chairman of the House of Representatives appropriations committee, said districts should get budgets based on growth potential, population density and land area, among other criteria.

“There must be cohesion between the needs in order to make this determination of priorities,” he added.

Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves, Jr. earlier raised concerns about the inequitable distribution of infrastructure funds among districts.

Mr. Teves questioned the P8 billion and P11.8 billion worth of infrastructure funds allotted to Taguig City and Camariñes Sur, respectively.

Mr. Teves is a known ally of Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco, a contender for the House speakership.

Mr. Cayetano and his wife Lani represent the two legislative districts of Taguig City, while House Deputy Speaker Luis Raymund F. Villafuerte represents the second district of Camariñes Sur, a province ruled by the Villafuerte clan.

Mr. Villafuerte earlier said Mr. Cayetano should remain as House Speaker. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

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