The lack of supporting documents has led the Department of Budget & Management to exclude the proposed Bacong airport from the 2023 budget.
Budget & Management Director Maria Cresencia Sunga told the House Committee on Appropriations during a budget hearing for the Department of Transportation & Communications that the Transportation agency had proposed a P1.4 billion budget to continue the site acquisition for an airport in the town of Bacong.
However, Sunga said the proposal was not considered because “not enough documents” had been provided to support the plan.
Third District Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr., who was attending the hearing, denounced the non-allotment of funding, and demanded from the Department of Transportation a written explanation as to why the proposed airport in the town of Bacong has no allocation for next year.
He said action of the DOTr was against the directive of President Marcos Jr. to improve airports across the country.
Teves then asked the Committee on Appropriations to defer the deliberations on the 2023 Department of Transportation budget until the issues regarding the Bacong airport were resolved.
Marikina Rep. Stella Quimbo, senior vice chairperson of the House Committee on Appropriations, however, pointed out that as a non-member of the Committee, Congressman Teves could not make such a motion.
The DBM had allocated a total of P2.5 billion to develop the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Laoag International Airport in Ilocos Norte, Tacloban Airport in Leyte, the Evelio B. Javier Airport in Antique, and the Bukidnon Airport in support of the President’s goal of improving transportation infrastructure in the country.
As provided in the National Expenditure Program for next year, the DBM has increased the budget of the Department of Transportation from P75.8 billion in 2022 to P167.1 billion next year.