‘PDAF spent thru nat’l. agencies’-A A +A
Monday, August 25, 2014
REP. Antonio Tinio of ACT Teachers Party-List yesterday said six national government agencies (NGAs) were used by the Aquino administration as conduit in the release of P20.7 billion of Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) for the continuous use by congressmen nationwide.
Tinio said that of the six NGA’s, the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) got P4.1 billion; Department of Health (DOH), P3 billion; Department of Labor and Employment (Dole), P1 billion; Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), P4 billion; Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda), P1 billion; and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), P7.5 billion.
Tinio said that after the Supreme Court declared PDAF unconstitutional, the P20.7 billion was still included in the 2014 budget, but was coursed through the said NGAs.
“Specifically, the funds in Ched, DOH, Dole, Tesda and DSWD are further subdivided into individual lump sums for House members, with P14 million each from Ched, P10.5 million from DOH, P3.5 million from Dole and Tesda and P14 million from DSWD,” Tinio said.
“These personal lump sums are to be disbursed at the discretion of each House member, who alone decides to whom and how much of the funds will go,” Tinio said.
He said that because the PDAF has been declared unconstitutional by the SC, allowing congressmen to access funds is not officially acknowledged. And there are no written policies, guidelines, memoranda, or orders admitting that it goes on.
During the National People’s Congress the other day at the Mariners’ Court, Tinio distributed a list of focal persons who are tasked with facilitating the funding requests of congressmen.
One of the focal persons identified by Tinio is Dole 7 Director Chona Mantilla who reportedly implemented the Emergency Employment Program, also known as Tupad and GIP, but whose beneficiaries were identified by congressmen.
When sought for comment, Mantilla said he was told by the Dole Central Office that the funds for GIP and Tupad come from the agency’s special funds through the Dole’s Financial Management Service.
Mantilla said the Dole central office received the funds and the project was implemented by Dole 7 regional operations office.
“GIP is government internship program where high school to college undergraduates and graduates are employed for six months as government interns. Tupad is ‘Tulong pangkabuhayan’ for displaced workers who are given three months employment with minimum wage,” Mantilla said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 25, 2014.