DBM Secretary Diokno clarified claims of “insertions” in the President’s budget during a press briefing on Wednesday at the DBM office in Manila.
“There is no insertion in the budget. That term is a misnomer. Changes during budget preparation are ‘adjustments’,” Secretary Diokno said.
“In the case of public works, the request of the DPWH was initially P652 billion, not P488 billion as Congressman Andaya mentioned yesterday. We initially approved P480 billion out of the P652 billion for DPWH, that could be where he got that number,” Secretary Diokno said.
“But in the final phase, we found that this was still short of our commitment to disburse at least 5% of GDP for infrastructure. That’s why the budget of DPWH was adjusted by P75.5 billion,” Secretary Diokno explained.
The total budget for the DPWH, according to the National Expenditure Program, is P556 billion, well below the original proposal of P652 billion by the public works department.
“So I don’t know where he (Andaya) got P51 billion. The math will show that the adjustment would be closer to P75 billion,” he added.
Finally, Secretary Diokno said that adjustments like this one are normal during budget preparation phase.
“I’ve prepared at least ten budgets. Five during Cory’s term, two during Erap’s time, and three under this administration. Adjustments happen,” the budget chief remarked.