Abad defends PNoy's 'pork'-A A +A
Saturday, August 24, 2013
MANILA -- Budget Secretary Florencio Abad denied Saturday that President Benigno Aquino III has pork barrel as he appealed to "budget experts" not to give wrong information to the public.
The budget chief, in an interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan, explained that the special purpose funds (SPF) of the President could not be considered as a pork barrel since they were intended for particular purposes.
"Kailangan nating maliwanagan...dito sa nangyayari sa ngayon, may mga taong sumasakay, na ginagamit itong sitwasyon e, parang hindi--para mailagay sa masamang lugar ang ating Pangulo," he said.
(We should be enlightened… on what is going on now, some people are riding on the issue, using this situation to put the President in bad light)
"Bakit ko sinasabi ‘yan? Sinasabi nila, ‘yang mga lump sums o special purpose funds ay dapat buwagin na natin lahat ‘yan, o di kaya naman, dapat idetalye natin ‘yan; ilagay na natin lahat ang kailangang dapat ilagay," Abad said.
(Why am I saying this? They say, that the lump sums or the special purpose funds should be scrapped all together, if not, we will report everything in detail; we declare whatever is there to declare)
In the case of the calamity or contingency funds, he said that it could not be predicted how many typhoons will visit the country in a year or if there would be any emergency that would take place abroad that would need immediate repatriation of Filipinos.
"Isipin ninyo, kung bumagyo tapos, saka pa lang tayo pupunta sa Kongreso para humingi ng pera. Hindi naman siguro karapat-dapat ‘yon, di ba," he said.
(Think about it, there’s a typhoon, then we go to Congress to ask for money. I think that’s not the proper way to do it.)
He cited the other special purpose funds such as the debt servicing, which is being automatically appropriated; the internal revenue allotment for the local government units; and the miscellaneous personnel benefits fund for the hiring of people in government.
"So ito 'yung mga special purpose funds, na sinasabi nila na pork barrel ng Presidente. Papaano natin masasabi na magiging pork barrel ng Presidente, samantalang meron ito talagang partikular na pinaglalaanan dito sa ating budget," Abad stressed.
(These are the special purpose funds that they label as pork barrel of the President. How can we consider them as pork barrel of the President, when it was allocated for a particular purpose in the budget?)
To those who have been criticizing the administration for allegedly not scrapping the President's own pork barrel, Abad urged them not to confuse the public.
"So ang pakiusap natin sa mga kababayan natin, lalong-lalo na ‘yung sinasabing sila raw ay dalubsa sa budget, tulungan naman nating bigyan ng paliwanag ang ating mamamayan, at huwag naman natin silang bigyan ng paliwanag na hindi naman makakapagmulat sa kanila," he said.
(May I ask our countrymen, especially those who claim to be budget experts, to help enlighten our people, and let us not mislead them.)
Aquino, in a surprise press conference on Friday, said that it's now time to scrap PDAF amid uproar against the pork barrel.
He has said that new mechanism would be in place to ensure transparent use of funds by the lawmakers.
With a huge rally set on Monday against pork barrel, Abad said that he was able to talk with some of those who would join in the protest and he encouraged them to participate in the budget process. (SDR/Sunnex)