Sotto: Senate scrutiny eyed for budget of four agencies flagged for corruption, underspending

Published July 26, 2021, 3:35 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Monday said senators are poised to scrutinize the programs and projects of at least four government agencies in the upcoming debates on the proposed 2022 national budget.

Sotto identified the agencies as the Departments of Health (DOH), Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and Agriculture (DA).

“Maybe we will scrutinize those departments with allegations of corruption and have problems regarding underspending,” Sotto said in a virtual press briefing.

“There are departments that have red flags, for example, DOH, DA, DPWH, DSWD–those are the agencies my colleagues will thoroughly scrutinize,” the Senate leader added.

“I’m just basing it on issues that have already been raised earlier,” the Senate leader added.

Sotto said the department heads of these agencies should be ready to defend their agency’s budget and provide an explanation over these allegations.

“If they already have documented response and explanation over these allegations they won’t have any problems,” he said.

During his speech at the opening of the Senate’s 3rd Regular Session, Sotto vowed that the Senate will “continuously seek to expose corruption in public service.”

Sotto said the Upper Chamber will continue to “direct the searchlight…towards the dark corners of our bureaucracy where corruption and injustice thrive unnoticed.”

“The Senate is ready and willing to be a partner of the other branches of government in correcting any wrong or discontinue a measure that is counter-productive,” the senator stressed.