Pabling’s Pdaf not covered by TRO-A A +A
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
CEBU Provincial Legal Officer Orvi Ortega said the P72.9-million Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of former second district representative Pablo Garcia is not covered by the temporary restraining order on the use of the pork barrel.
This means it can be used for its intended purpose, he said.
Ortega said the PDAF of Garcia, which is in the trust fund of the Capitol, was released within the fiscal year 2010 and 2012 and is not affected by the Supreme Court’s TRO which froze all PDAF releases in the year 2013.
Earlier, Ortega said the Province serves as the implementing agency of the PDAF, which was placed in a trust fund and considered as a continuing appropriation.
The Province can use the funds as long as it is in accordance with the Special Allotment Release Order (Saro), he said.
In a letter to the provincial accountant, Ortega said the amount is not covered by the TRO.
Earlier, Provincial Accountant Marieto Ypil sought the legal opinion of Ortega after the Supreme Court released a TRO related to the senators and congressmen’s PDAF.
“It is the considered view and recommendation of the Provincial Legal Office of the Province of Cebu that PDAF FY 2010-2012, which were already released and channeled through the Province of Cebu for implementation long before the issuance of the TRO, can be processed and released by the Province of Cebu to its intended beneficiaries in accordance with the Project Menu of the PDAF concerned,” a part of the letter read.
Provincial Board Member Peter John Calderon said that approximately P40 million of Garcia’s PDAF is for food security of the second district.
“As far as I can remember, about P40 million of the amount is for a specific purpose, which is food security, so it cannot be used for any other purpose,” Calderon said.
Garcia earlier asked his daughter, former governor Gwendolyn Garcia, to return the funds to the House of Representatives when it was not immediately used for the towns in the second district.
At that time, there was an attempt to release 26 checks from the former congressman’s pork barrel but these were later canceled.
The funds remained in the Capitol and have to be released based on the project menu.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 08, 2013.