Strict rules up for ‘pork’ allocations-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Thursday, September 26, 2013
STRICT assessment and evaluation are expected in the implementation of pork barrel funds to be incorporated into the 2014 budget.
This was assured by Department of Social Welfare and Development Regional Director Leonardo Reynoso as he stressed there were no fake beneficiaries and ghost non-government organizations in their past implementation of the Priority Development Assistance Funds of legislators.
Reynoso stressed beneficiaries referred by legislators often are those in crisis situations and those affected by disasters without any NGO acting as conduit to the fund’s implementation.
Reynoso said with the upcoming reforms on the pork barrel initiated by President Benigno Aquino III they are expecting some P4.7 billion in funds for various recommendations of lawmakers as he stressed this will all be transparent in the General Appropriations Act through line item budgeting.
These funds mostly cater to burial, medical, financial assistance for Persons with Disabilities and educational assistance of indigent beneficiaries as listed in their database of the poor.
He stressed the agency is awaiting guidelines by the Department of Budget and Management, including the DSWD’s central office, for the implementing rules of these projects.
He stressed while it is true legislators have a hand in recommending beneficiaries of these assistance from the DSWD beneficiaries will undergo assessment and interviews from social workers of the agency.
He added legislators also do not have a hand in the disbursement of funds for the assistance as this is either directly given to beneficiaries during disasters while those seeking medical assistance are given funding but coursed directly to the hospitals.
The agency has also launched early this year its “Bawal and Epal” campaign prior to the conduct of the May 2013 polls to prevent their projects, particularly its Conditional Cash Transfer program, from being used by politicians for personal gains.
He added they are expanding the coverage of the CCT in the Cordillera which has some 78,000 poor families based on the data provided by the National Statistical Coordination Board.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on September 27, 2013.