Scrambling to retain his post, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano over the weekend promised to restore the lawmakers’ Local Government Subsidy Fund (LGSF) and conciliate with forces questioning his lion’s share from the infrastructure projects.
Cayetano is using money meant for the Bayanihan 2, funds which are supposed to alleviate the people’s fight against the new coronavirus pandemic.
But parts of it will now be used for congressmen’s soft projects through the LGSF, which include funding for scholarships, medical assistance, livelihood training and similar light projects.
The distribution of these funds was instructed by Cayetano yesterday as calls for his removal as House Speaker simmered following the discovery of his gargantuan share from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) projects to be funded by the General Appropriations Act in 2021.
“Your allocated LGSF for 2020 which were missing are back,” a message attributed to Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte stated. “We reinstated them as per instruction of the Speaker in Bayanihan 2.”
Along with Cayetano, Villafuerte is also being accused by his peers of being able to gain more projects in the billions of pesos from projects of the DPWH.
Cayetano and Villafuerte are Nacionalista partymates. DPWH Secretary Mark Villar is the son of NP bosses Manny and Senator Cynthia Villar.
“Here with guidelines please. Favor, kindly as you LGU (local government units) beneficiaries (through) Katy to comply ASAP because deadline is end of October,” Villafuerte’s supposed message continued.
The Bayanihan 2 will expire on 19 December 2020.
It is not clear yet how the lawmakers have accepted the information although a couple of them said “it is now clear that they (Cayetano’s camp) are racing to restore the congressmen’s funds to appease the House members.”
Cayetano’s hold on the speakership is still being shaken by a growing number of congressmen who found his and his wife Lani’s separate districts in Taguig City as recipients of big funds for infrastructure projects courtesy of the DPWH.
P12B for one city
Several congressmen are now saying the Cayetanos’ Taguig City is getting P12 billion in DPWH projects.
Villafuerte, meanwhile, is said to be a recipient of P11.8-billion infrastructure funds.
Daily Tribune was able to obtain a list of some of the Cayetanos’ infrastructure projects in Taguig City.
These are just 21 of their projects worth P3,179,680,000 which have been listed in the 2021 National Expenditure Program of the government.
Set for construction are: Multi-purpose building and site development at Lakeshore in Lower Bicutan (P195,500,000); multi-purpose building at Western Bicutan (P153,000,000); site development of multi-purpose baseball stadium at Barangay Ususan (P255,000,000); Cayetano Sports Complex at Bagumbayan (P212,500,000).
Multi-purpose building at Barangay Sta. Ana (P59,500,000); multi-purpose building and facilities at Calzada Tipaz (P127,500,000); multi-purpose building and integrated parking terminal with park facility at Central Bicutan (P297,500,000); multi-purpose building and site development (SPED center) at Calzada Tipaz (P51,000,000).
Multi-purpose building at Camp Bagong Diwa, Central Bicutan (P170,000,000); multi-purpose building at TCU Compound, Central Bicutan (P204,000,000); multi-purpose building and site development at TCU Compound, Central Bicutan (P170,000,000); multi-purpose building and site development at Bambang (P51,000,000); multi-purpose building at Bagong Tanyag (P85,000,000); multi-purpose building at Central Signal (P85,000,000).
Multi-purpose building at Pinagsama (P85,000,000); multi-purpose building at Upper Bicutan (P59,500,000); multi-purpose government center at Lower Bicutan (P170,000,000); multi-purpose and site development (P212,500,000);multi-purpose sports stadium (P204,680,000), and Taguig City Parola at Napindan (P272,000,000).
These figures have sent the other congressmen seething as majority of them were allocated only P2 billion each in projects or less.
Total allocation for the Visayas bloc, meanwhile, is only eight percent of the 2021 budget.
“He’s in a panic and was trying to appease the congressmen,” a Tribune source said. “Many are up in arms because only a few of them are getting billions of pesos in allocations while the rest have not been released.”