Lawmaker’s assessment on PDAF-funded projects hit

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Saturday, May 3, 2014


HOUSE lawmakers have criticized a statement by their colleague on the projects previously funded by the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), a lump sum appropriation given to members of Congress.

Kalinga Representative Manuel Agyao earlier said the projects of some congressmen which were funded by their PDAF, which was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, were "problematic."

With this, House Deputy Majority Leader Sherwin Tugna, Antipolo City Representative Romeo Acop and Ako Bicol party-list Representative Rodel challenged Agyao to substantiate this claim.

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Acop said that Agyao's statement was baseless and unfounded since his projects passed a series of tests for regularity and the standards set by concerned authorities.

"He must rectify his inaccurate claims about our projects," Acop said.

Batocabe agreed with Acop statements and noted that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) had given lawmakers the necessary guidelines for the implementation of the projects and that nongovernment organization is not a requirement.

"This is not entirely accurate since we were given guidelines by the DBM on what project to choose in connection with our PDAF… you may or may not course it thru NGOs," Batocabe said.

For his part, Tugna said Agyao's statement could just be "his personal opinion and observation."

"There are more than 280 members of the House. It's hard to make a sweeping statement. However, in the past twelve months since the Napoles issue broke out, the finger pointing is towards the members of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The DOJ (Department of Justice) should look at the implementing agencies and the public officials tasked to check and audit the funds in the implementing agencies," said Tugna. (Sunnex)

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