Salceda's district gets whopping ₱8 billion under 2018 GAA | BICOL TODAY

Salceda’s district gets whopping ₱8 billion under 2018 GAA

By Manly M. Ugalde

LEGAZPI CITY, Albay – Albay Rep. Joey Salceda once again proved his dominance in Bicol in securing congressional district funding, a feat once proven for 20 long years of Rep. Edcel Lagman (Albay 1st District).

Officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways in Bicol disclosed that Albay second district represented by Salceda got a whopping P8 billion allocation under the 2018 General Appropriation Act against the P3 billion allocated for the Albay 1st district.

DPWH 2018 GAA for Bicol was pegged at P74 billion distributed to 15 district engineering offices, including the regional office.

Lagman and Salceda are known in the local DPWH as top producing lawmakers for budget allocations. Even at the time, he was the Albay governor (2007 – 2016) after enjoying his first three-term in Congress, Salceda was reported to have produced enormous funds for the province 3 districts. He was also the proponent of the half-completed P4 billion Bicol International Airport located in Daraga town that was started under the Arroyo administration.

It will be recalled that the Albay 1st District Engineering had earned the envy of most district engineers in the region for repeatedly topping in annual GAA allocations since Lagman became a congressman immediately under the Cory administration, separate from the pork barrel releases which according to DPWH sources often double Lagman district GAA annual allocation in his bid to make his district number one.

With school buildings, concrete roads, bridges, ports, flood control, waiting sheds, barangay multi-purpose projects abound during his third term under the Ramos administration who succeeded the Cory the administration, Lagman proclaimed he had made his district number one.

Lagman downspin

Lagman was the House Committee Chair on Justice when then President Gloria Arroyo faced an impeachment charge. Lagman justice committee, however, dismissed the impeachment charge for lack of substance. Following Arroyo impeachment dismissal, funds for infrastructure projects poured in the region provinces reportedly at the behest of Lagman.

Lagman congressional district, however, suffered a costly fate when the House leadership under Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez announced during the 3rd quarter last year that 20 opposition lawmakers, including Lagman who were critical of the Duterte administration, would be stripped of the 2018 GAA budget.

Salceda was supposed to return to his turf (3rd District) after his governorship but political consideration forced him to run instead for the second district to give way to Rep. Fernando Gonzalez finish his 3rd and final term.

Asst. regional director Esmeraldo Sarmiento confirmed that Salceda’s 2nd congressional district got the whooping P8 billion funds under the 2018 GAA, while Camarines Sur 5th District Engineering got only around P500 million budget.

With the P8 billion funds for the Albay 2nd district, Salceda virtually proves his dominance in budget allocations a feat he had demonstrated after Lagman, said DPWH regional legal officer Oliver Rodulfo.

Salceda is working closely with his district engineer Danilo Villa to facilitate the massive road widening in his district, including the first 8-lane road in Bicol known as the Bogtong-Legazpi Drive stretching Barangay Tagas, of Daraga town to Bonot, Legazpi.

Both Lagman and Salceda political career showed a similar route of supporting the leadership of every administration. Under the Duterte leadership, however, Lagman maintains his identity with the former President Aquino of the Liberal Party serving in Congress under the minority bloc critical of the administration alleged human rights violation.

Turncoatism

On the other hand, Salceda displayed his propensity of bolting support against his boasted presidential bet Defense secretary Gilbert Teodoro a month before the election in 2010 by switching support to presidential bet then Senator Benigno Aquino 111. During the 2016 election, again Salceda bolted the Liberal Party bet Mar Roxas a month before the election by switching support to presidential bet Senator Grace Poe.

Accused as among the DPWH regular cockfight derby aficionados, Salceda strongly defended his district engineer as “tough and competent” following reports that the district engineer together with his two staff engineer had been photographed at the bleacher of the Legazpi and Daraga cockpit galleries with the district engineer wearing a white cup and a half-face mask to hide his identity.

Posted by on July 11, 2018. Filed under Bicol News,Headlines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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