Press Release
January 29, 2019

Drilon: Bicam scraps budget for corruption-prone dredging

In an unprecedented move, this year's national budget has zero budget for dredging activities, which Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon, described as "a rich source of corruption."

This is after the bicameral conference committee hearing the disagreeing provisions of the 2019 General Appropriations Bill adopted the motion of Senator Panfilo Lacson to scrap the budget for dredging activities, Drilon told.

"Contracts with contractors for dredging activities will not be funded. The reason is: dredging contracts with private contractors are the bigggest sources of corruption, and the preferred insertions in the budget by legislators. Billions are allocated for dredging," Drilon said.

"A major amendment is that there will be no budget for dredging. Because dredging is the rich source of corruption. How can you measure how the cubic meters of mud did you dredge?" Drilon said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channels' "Headstart" earlier.

Instead, Drilon said the budget will be used to fund the purchase of dredging equipment lodged under the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

"Citing what I did for the Iloilo River, Sen Lacson moved that all the amounts allocated for dredging be used for the purchase of dredging machines. This was adopted by the Bicam," Drilon said

"That's what we did in Iloilo. We purchased dredging machines so up to now, five years after, we're still dredging without any additional expense," he added.

Drilon said that henceforth, as a matter of policy, dredging will be done in-house, by DPWH, not by private contractors.

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