THE P686.11 billion 2022 budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has been approved by the House Committee on Appropriations after a hearing of only two hours.

However, multiple projects and issues have been brought up by lawmakers regarding the budget, pointing out points of concern.

Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Arlene Brosas claimed that she had questions regarding the TIKAS, short for “Tatag ng Imprastruktura para sa Kapayapaan at Seguridad,” which are infrastructure projects supposedly in the interest of national security, but claimed that she was skipped during House deliberations.

Brosas questioned the need for a P110 million five-storey condominium in the Philippine Military Academy (PMA); a P7 million water system in San Miguel, Bulacan; a P50 million sports complex in Malacañang Park, Manila City; and a P50 million dental facility in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

“Quite oddly, the TIKAS program included the construction of a sports complex, a dental facility, and several sleeping quarters of uniformed personnel for 2022. Since when has the establishment of a sports complex and dental facility been a matter of national security?” she said.

Meanwhile, Makabayan bloc solons, Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Ferdinand Gaite and ACT Teachers Party-list Rep. France Castro questioned the DPWH about outstanding issues in its utilization of funds.

Among the concerns raised were over the P10.3 billion contingent fund that the department received, the suspension of over P4.2 billion worth of projects by the Commission on Audit, as well as a logged loss of over P600 million to erring contractors.