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Road project double entry from Congress, not Palace–Andaya

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 14:02:00 09/09/2008

MANILA, Philippines — The double entry of P200 million for a Metro Manila road project in the 2008 budget came from Congress, not from Malacañang, Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya said, as he reiterated that the money would not be released.

“I repeat, the President did not ask for this, this was approved by Congress,” he said. “We only propose [the budget], and in our proposal, there was no double entry.”

Andaya said the double entry could have been made during bicameral hearings on the 2008 budget.

Andaya said he discussed the double entry in passing with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

“She [Arroyo] made sure that it will not be released. We assured her that it will not be released,” Andaya said, recalling his conversation with the President.

Andaya said the President “impounded” the release of the P200-million double entry.

Andaya showed reporters a copy of the 2008 budget, wherein P200 million was allotted each for the “Construction of C-5 road extension from SLEX [Southern Luzon Expressway] to Sucat Road including ROW” and the “Construction of President Garcia Avenue Extension from SLEX Sucat Road including ROW.”

“We confirm that there are two entries, different names, but it’s one street,” Andaya told reporters.

Asked if the double entry was deliberate, Andaya said: “Inassume naming na hindi naman siguro malamang ito intensiyon ng Kongreso na magkaroon ng flyover o double deck na kalye [We assume Congress did not intend to have a flyover or double deck road].”

There were no other double entries in the budget, the Andaya said.

On Monday, Senator Panfilo Lacson questioned the double entry in the budget, but said that the P200-allotment for the C-5 road extension project was made once in the 2008 budget, and was repeated in the 2009 budget proposal.

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Written by joelguinto

TueUTC2008-09-09T06:21:21+00:00UTC09bUTCTue, 09 Sep 2008 06:21:21 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am09

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