11 towns to receive aid from Malacañang

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Monday, August 25, 2014


THE Department Of Agriculture (DA) 7 has identified 11 municipalities in Cebu as beneficiaries of the Grassroots Participatory Budgeting Process (GPBP) of the Aquino administration.

GPBP became controversial after the National People’s Congress considered it as another form of pork inserted in the 2014 annual budget.

The 11 towns that received GPP assistance from Agriculture Sec. Proceso Alcala are San Remigio, San Fernando, Sogod, Carmen, Compostela, San Francisco, Cordova, Balamban, Alcoy, Dalaguete and Sibonga.

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Most of the mayors of these municipalities are reportedly members of the ruling Liberal Party.

During his visit last month, Alcala turned over projects worth P14,980,166 to the mayors to cover the first tranche of assistance for farm-to-market roads for the 11 towns.

DA 7 records showed San Remigio receiving P388,920 for the second tranche, while San Fernando and Talisay City received a combined amount of P1,021,548 for the third tranche.

Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III was present when Alcala turned over the GPBP assistance
in a program held in Tuburan.

Yesterday, the Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas, headed by its national president Edmund Abesamis, placed a one-page advertisement in a national daily stating that GPBP is not part of the pork barrel because it is given with transparency and accountability.

The Liga said that for several years, it is only the Aquino administration that created the GPBP based on the cost estimates of projects in the grassroots level.

The Liga said that under GPBP, local government units (LGUs) are directed to consult all Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and other people’s organizations in the community on what projects they need.

They said that before, only the congressmen and mayors are the ones identifying and implementing projects even if these were not really needed by the community.

Involved

They said this was reversed under the GPBP, where the people are directly involved.

During the Luzon Mayors Conference of the League of Municipalities in the Philippines (LMP) at the Waterfront Hotel last July 15, Mayor Leonardo Javier, the LMP national president, said the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released P20 billion for GPBP projects for 2014 and another P22 billion is earmarked for 2015.

However, the convenors of the National People’s Congress considered GPBP as another pork barrel, as it defined pork barrel as lump sum fund with sole discretion given to the President, group of legislators or any public officer.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 26, 2014.

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