Where Cebu legislators’ PDAF went-A A +A
Thursday, August 29, 2013
HEAVE a sigh of relief, people. The favorite destination of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of Cebu’s legislators isn’t any of the non-government organizations (NGOs) associated with Janet Lim-Napoles. It is the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC).
Last year alone, the VSMMC received a total of P37 million from all but one of the nine congressmen from Cebu, the lone exception being Cutie del Mar of the Cebu City north district. Tommy Osmeña gave P200,000.
The funds are technically called “financial assistance for indigent patients” and are used to pay for the hospitalization expenses of patients identified by the congressmen. The biggest contributor in 2012 was Benhur Salimbangon (4th district) who gave a total of P10 million in two tranches of P5 million each on May 7 and Sept. 7.
Red Durano, who represented the 5th district, was next with P7 million, followed by PJ Garcia of the 3rd district (P6 M), Luigi Quisumbing of the 5th district (P5 M), Lapu-Lapu’s Arturo Radaza (P4.1 M), Eddie Gullas of the 1st district (P2.75 million) and Pablo Garcia of the 2nd district (P2 M).
Congressmen get P70 million each of PDAF every year, P40 million of which is spent on infrastructure and P30 million on soft projects, mostly financial assistance.
The records of the Department of Budget and Management showed that the Cebu congressmen used their P40 million each for road construction and concreting, asphalt overlays, construction of school and multi-purpose buildings, flood control structures and water systems.
Aside from the VSMMC, the Department of Social Welfare and Development was also the recipient of a huge of chunk of the financial assistance from Cebu’s congressmen who gave money for the Comprehensive Integrated Delivery of Social Services Program (CIDSS) of the agency. The CIDSS was created under Executive order No. 443 of then President Fidel V. Ramos.
Del Mar gave P25 million to the CIDSS; Osmeña, P9.3 million; Salimbangon, P5.3 million; Pablo Garcia, P2 million; Quisumbing, P6 million; and Durano, P3 million.
The Cebuano congressmen were also generous to the local government units closest to their hearts. PJ allotted P18 million as financial assistance to the Province, then headed by his sister, Gwendolyn, for social services, sports development program, health and medical assistance and livelihood projects.
His father also named the province as implementing unit for the disbursement of funds for displaced or indigent families (P4.25 M), food assistance for the indigent (P7 M) and for senior citizens (P7 M). Salimbangon, a political ally to the Garcias, also gave P7 million to the Province as financial assistance to indigent patients.
Radaza gave a total of P25.4 million to Lapu-Lapu City to finance various projects.
Durano did the same to Danao and Gullas to the cities of Talisay, Carcar and Naga and the towns of Minglanilla and Sibonga.
Durano, Gullas and Quisumbing also designated the Department of Agriculture as implementing agency for organic farming and high value crop programs. Durano gave P2 million, Gullas, P1.5 million and Quisumbing, P6 million.
Aside from a congressman’s P70 million, P200 million in PDAF also goes to a senator every year. A total of P24,218,516,422 in pork barrel was released by the DBM in 2012, with congressmen getting P20,095,041,244 and senators, P4,123,475.178.
You can visit the DBM website (pdaf.dbm.gov.ph) for more details.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 29, 2013.