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Monday, February 18,2019 ..

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all getl zero payment," thecongress-
Andaya... man said, claiming that notices of
cash allocation were given in lumP
sum, and discretion was given to re-
pa ang halagang hindi nababayaran gional directors,sosome contractors
ngDBM sa mga utang na ito lThis is "have to resort to bribery."
DBMt debt to government contrac-
tors, which swelled to more than Govt, pilvate employees
P100 billion at the end of 2018. not paid'
Until now, the amount DBM has DPWH casuals were also not paid
failed to pay the contractors re- their salaries for three months
mains hugel," Andaya enplained. and were only given payment last
But Diokno said DBM is not week. while 99 percent of the con-
aware how Andaya got his figure, tractors were stillnot paid fully for
noting that the department just the completed projects, according
released P64 billion for accounts to Andaya,
payable of the DPWH. A persistent failure Lo PaY sala-
He refuted Andayas new wave ries can critically affect the daily
ofaccusations, saying the Duterte lives of these employees and can
administration has the "reputa- alsoprompt some ofthem to resign
tion for honoring its contractual and claim constructive dismissal.
obligations." "In short, the DBM has resorted
"Unlike in the Past, when set- to rationing of payments. If there
tlement of APs faccounts payable] was rice shortagebefore, nowthere
takes months, evenyears, we settle is cash shortage, thanks to Sec Dio-
them within reasonable period. kno," he added.
That's the essence of annual cash- The congressmad then.warned
based budgeting- thatlegitimate contractors might not
That's why we are nowattTacting continuelidding for infrastructule
big, reputable contractors," Diokno projects due to fears that the govern-
said in a text message to the Busl- ment couldnotpaythem on time and
NESSMIRROR. might make it to the point that banks
APs referto theamountof short will be demanding payments.
term debt or money owed. In this 'A contractors' revolt is possible.
case. by thegovernment to the con- The Build, Build, Build program
tractors for projects completed. mayturn out to be Stop, Stop,,Stop
Despite opposition from some programJ courtesy of Sec. Diqfno.
lawmakers. the DBM is still push- Given this scenario, an economic
ing for the cash-based budgeting slowdown is imminent," Andaya
system, which it said will enhance a dded.
the efficiency of national govern- Diokno, however, insisted that
ment disbursements. the DBM has released the equiva-
lent of one fourth of the DPWH's
Kiekbacks? 2018 budget since the budget is re-
IN his statement late on Friday, enacted. "How it will allocate the
Andaya had said this "gargan- budgetis theagency's concern-not
tuan amount of payables" forces DBM's," he said.
DPWH contractors to "cough up On Thursday, President Duterte
kickbacks just to be paid foi com- also admitted in a speech that the
pleted infrastructure projects," lack of skilled workers is also ham-
Andaya quoted his sources as pering the government's massive
saying the release of payment from infrastructure program.
the DBM to DPWH varies per engi- The government has vowed to
neeringdistrict. Some districts were usher in a golden age ofinfrastruc-
paid l0percent only, others 30 per- ture as it aims to roll out 75 flag-
cent. " D e p en de s a Ia gay an,'Yunghin di ship infrastructure ploiects under
naglalagay [t depends on the.brib- its Build, Build, Buildprofiai. Wi$
ery-those who don't pay bribes at a npott frcn Bemodette D. Ni.olas
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