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House questions P400-M NEDA budget for feasibility studies

7 August 2013 No Comment

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MANILA, Philippines — A P400 million funding proposed by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to conduct feasibility studies on government projects was questioned Wednesday, the first day of budget deliberations.

ACT Teachers Partylist Representative Antonio Tinio said that there was something wrong with a “lump sum” fund being included in the proposed P2.268 trillion national budget.

“There was no breakdown. My point was if the administration would take P400 million from taxpayers, how can the government justify that amount?” asked Tinio.

But NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan Jr. said that the P400 million was not a huge amount for doing feasibility studies.

“We noted before the high cost of implementing projects what with time and cost overruns. One problem was that funds were very much supply driven and the government became tied up–it was not flexible anymore. So we said, why can’t the government identify high priority projects such as irrigation? Then we can choose which is best in financing,” he told the panel.

“We are talking of many projects and P400 million is not enough but we need to be selective due to NEDA’s limitations,” Balisacan added.

Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad said that the funding for the feasibility studies to be undertaken by the NEDA would be for select projects which have yet to be identified.

“Those are for incoming projects. Of course you have little idea what projects those will be,” he told reporters in a chance interview outside the budget hearing.

Abad said that the NEDA would be looking into the feasibility of projects on airports, railway, and ports, among others.

Source:  http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/460521/house-questions-p400-m-neda-budget-for-feasibility-studies#ixzz2bGeKimHe
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