Cash aid went directly to beneficiaries: governor-A A +A
Monday, October 22, 2012
GOV. Gwendolyn Garcia clarified that the Provincial Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), including those from the vice governor and Provincial Board (PB) members, has been released to the town and barangay officials.
Gwendolyn made the statement after she was told about the alleged complaints of some legislative employees, who spoke on anonymity, that requests for financial assistance from the PDAF of Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale were turned down because the governor reportedly did not sign the endorsements since May.
Magpale’s annual PDAF is P23 million. According to the employees, there is about P8 million that remains to be released.
“Bakak na (That is a lie),” Gwendolyn told Sun.Star Cebu. She said the PDAF has been released and turned over to the beneficiaries during her town visits.
She said some members of the media who go with her during her town visits can attest to this.
PB Member Wilfredo Caminero, who used to be with One Cebu Party but shifted alliances to the rival Liberal Party (LP), said that the PDAF of Magpale and some PB members may have been released directly to the beneficiaries without the knowledge of the concerned officials.
Caminero said that once the governor approved any request for cash assistance, they no longer have control over its distribution to the beneficiaries.
So, he said, it is possible that the cash assistance already reached the concerned barangays or towns during the governor’s visits.
On Sept. 1, the governor along with her brother Rep. Pablo John Garcia (Cebu, third district), who is running for governor under One Cebu, turned over P2.73 million cash assistance to 14 barangays in Ronda town. The amount included the P75,000 cash from the PDAF of Magpale and PB Members Peter John Calderon and Caminero.
In Carmen town last Oct. 13, Gwendolyn, Pablo John and his runningmate Ramon “Boboy” Durano IV distributed P1.375 million cash assistance to the senior citizens and barangay officials. Of the total amount, P25,000 that was taken from Magpale’s PDAF was included, which will be used for the town’s footbridge.
Sun.Star Cebu noticed that in most town visits of the governor to distribute financial assistance, the PDAF of PB members and that of Magpale, who are members of LP, were included but their names were not acknowledged.
“Kinahanglan pa ba i-mention ila (Is it necessary to mention their names)?” Gwendolyn said.
“It does not matter who delivers it there. No problem. Even without the courtesy of mentioning our names, it’s okey. Basta maka-abot lang sa barangay (What matters most is that it reaches the barangay),” Caminero said in a separate interview.
Caminero said that before, when they were still partymates, barangay captains would claim their checks at the Capitol. Now, it is the governor who will give these to the barangay officials and other beneficiaries in her town visits.
Capitol spokesperson Rory Jon Sepulveda said that the governor only wants to put order and formality in the occasion so she decided to lump all assistance for a particular town and give it in one occasion.
Gwendolyn also wants the constituents to know about the cash assistance by witnessing the turnover ceremony to the village chiefs.
Last June, Barangay Captain Remedios Maribago of Canduling, Ronda failed to get her request for cash assistance that would have been taken from Magpale’s PDAF at the Capitol.
She was reportedly told by a cashier to just wait for the governor to visit her place to turn over the cash assistance.
This new system was reportedly introduced after some legislators and Magpale parted ways with One Cebu and became LP members, Caminero said.
Magpale is running for reelection, with Hilario Davide III for governor.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 22, 2012.