House panel mulls scrapping Binay's ‘pork’-A A +A
Monday, September 9, 2013
ASIDE from the P25.2 billion priority development assistance fund (PDAF) for congressmen, the House committee on appropriations is also considering scrapping the P200 million "pork barrel" allocated to the office of Vice President Jejomar Binay.
"It seems the nature of the (P200 million) fund is really PDAF," appropriations committee chairman Isidro Ungab said during the budget briefing of the Office of the Vice President (OVP).
Congress gave the OVP P200 million in pork barrel funds sourced from the unused PDAF of Aquino during his term as senator.
Undersecretary Benjamin Martinez said the OVP "will support whatever is the decision of the President and of Congress."
Binay earlier noted that the said amount used for social services has been cleared by the Commission on Audit.
On Tuesday morning, the House panel will meet to decide on what to do with their PDAF following President Benigno Aquino III's pronouncement that PDAF will be abolished amid the controversy over the use of pork barrel funds.
"We will meet and we will make recommendations as to the important aspects of the budget. Among the salient points would be the treatment of PDAF," Ungab said.
Whether the committee decides to scrap the PDAF from the 2014 proposed budget or to distribute the amount to government agencies, Ungab stressed that congressmen will no longer have discretion over the funds.
The proposed national budget is slated to be approved in the committee level on Tuesday before it is submitted for plenary discussion on September 16. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)