By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN
The House Committee on Appropriation has warned that severe flooding will remain as one of the perennial headaches of the national government if the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) will insist on the application of a cash-based budgeting scheme until 2019 National Expenditure Program (NEP).
Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles, panel chair, said the Duterte administration’s flood program has suffered a Php 20-billion budget cut under the DBM’s proposed cash-based National Budget for year.
Nograles said from previous Php 122.7 billion, flood control management index for 2019 is down at Php 101.9 billion.
“Hindi po tugma ang programa ng Pangulong Duterte na “Build, Build, Build” ang nangyayaring “Slash, Slash, Slash.” Hindi po ito People’s Budget. Ito po ay KKK Budget—kaunti, kulang at kapos,” said Nograles.
The government’s flood control program is primarily assigned to the Department of Public Works and Highway’s (DPWH) with direct supervision from other attached agencies such as the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
Last June, the Commission on Audit (COA) chided both DPWH and MMDA for its failure to implement majority of their flood control projects last year which brought widespread flooding of the metropolis over the weekend due to intensified heavy rains brought by habagat and Typhoon Karding.
On Saturday, Nograles announced that the Appropriations panel will suspend the budget deliberations for the proposed Php 3.757 trillion National Budget for 2019 until further notice as majority of legislators have declared their opposition over the cash-based budgeting scheme submitted by the DBM and the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC).
The Davao-based solon stressed that compared to the previous 1,936,000 mitigation structures and drainage systems constructed for 2018, flood control projects for next year are only 1,811,000.
Nograles said he was wondering why the DBM has proposed a lower budget for next year which happens to be an election season and despite the high revenue targets that will be collected from the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.
“Ang nangyayari po kasi sa tinutulak ng DBM na cash-based budgeting ay parang naging biktima ang mga Pilipino ng dagdag-bawas. Nagdagdag ng buwis, nagbawas ng benipsyo,” said Nograles.