DOTC on surge in 2014 consultancy services: No fund misuse

MANILA, Philippines — The surge in the transportation department's consultancy spending under the helm of Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya was due to an increase in infrastructure deals tendered and awarded by the agency, a transportation official said.

Transportation Assistant Secretary for Planning and Finance Sherielysse Reyes Bonifacio made the clarification in an interview with Rappler on Wednesday, January 20, following allegations that the transportation department has been overspending on consultancy services.

"There was no disallowance. I’m not going to recommend ghost people. We needed outside help because these are pilot projects....The projects involved were not yet done before. Nobody knows yet from the inside how to do it, so we needed to get the experts," Bonifacio said, showing a summary of the hired consultants and infrastructure deals for 2014.