Lawmakers in E. Visayas get P2.1-B ‘pork’-A A +A
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
TACLOBAN CITY -- The 14 members of the House of Representatives of Eastern Visayas have received P2.1-billion as pork barrel fund from 2010 to 2012, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) reported.
The National Government has poured out a total of P230.85-million worth of Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel to the region’s 14 lawmakers in 2010 with most of them receiving P15 million each.
Allotment significantly rose to P956.07 million in 2011 and P920.97 million in 2012. Almost all congressmen got P70 million every year, which is within the pork barrel limit set by the Aquino administration.
The DBM’s electronic fund has released report which showed that An Waray party-list Representative Neil Benedict Montejo got the highest PDAF in the 15th Congress at P170 million. Most of his PDAF was spent on medical assistance for indigent patients, infrastructure development and scholarship.
Next to Montejo with highest allotment from 2010 to 2012 was Southern Leyte Representative Roger Mercado with P156.5 million which was set aside to construct multi-purpose buildings, improvement of water system, financial aid to schools, medical assistance, and forest management.
Trailing behind was Representative Andres Salvacion (3rd district, Leyte) who got a total of P156 million pork barrel which was spent mainly for construction of multi-purpose building, road rehabilitation and medical assistance.
Receiving P155 million each were former Representatives Raul Daza (1st district, Northern Samar), Rogelio Espina (Biliran), Ben Evardone (Eastern Samar), former Florencio Noel (An Waray party-list), Mel Senen Sarmiento (1st district, Samar) and Milagrosa Tan (2nd district, Samar).
Records showed that Daza used his PDAF for road concreting and healthcare. Road upgrading, flood control, medical assistance and procurement of school facilities were the projects of Espina. Among Evardone’s projects were purchase of multicabs for peace and order, multi-purpose building, medical assistance, calamity assistance, sports development, and scholarship program.
Noel, Sarmiento, and Tan spent most of their respective pork barrel largely on infrastructure development, scholarship program and financial aid for indigent patients.
Other lawmakers got lower allocations in the 15th Congress – Leyte 2nd Rep. Sergio Apostol (P154.9 million), Leyte 1st Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez (P148.35 million), Leyte 5th Rep. Jose Carlos Cari (P134.75 million), Leyte 4th Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez (P134.14) and Northern Samar 2nd Rep. Emil Ong (P123.25 million).
The region’s House members have similar priorities - Apostol (infrastructure), Cari infrastructure and scholarship, Gomez (infrastructure and social services), Romualdez (infrastructure and scholarship) and Ong (infrastructure).
According to DBM, PDAF is a lump-sum appropriation in the annual General Appropriations Act to fund the priority development programs and projects of the government. PDAF is being channeled through members of the House of Representatives. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)