Budget office stops releasing PDAF-A A +A
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
THE Department of Budget Management (DBM) in Eastern Visayas stopped releasing priority development assistance fund (PDAF) on Friday to project implementers in the local government and selected national government agencies.
DBM Regional Director Imelda Laceras said they immediately stopped processing releases of PDAF allocations from the 13 congressmen from Eastern Visayas after the announcement of President Benigno Aquino III to abolish the pork barrel.
The allocations were intended for local government units (LGUs) and selected national government agencies under the watch of DBM regional office.
“In the regional office, we have been facilitating the release of PDAF to finance soft projects but now we have to stop that while investigation continues,” Laceras said.
The process of releasing PDAF allocations starts with a senator or congressman making a request for the release of his or her allocation with a list of proposed project. Projects should be included in the menu specified in the annual General Appropriations Act.
The request is sent to the Senate finance committee, in the case of a senator, or the House appropriations committee, in the case of a House member. The committee chairman endorses it to the Senate president or the Speaker, who then forwards it to the budget office.
After receiving the request, the DBM makes sure that the project list conforms to the menu in the budget law. The DBM will then release the funds to the implementing agency identified by the lawmaker, who is furnished a copy of the release document known as special allotment release order (Saro).
Aside from the LGUs, the regional office also facilitates release of PDAF and regular budget to the Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Education, State Universities and Colleges, Department of Health, Commission on Higher Education, and Technical Education and Skills and Development Authority.
The DBM regional chief welcomes the reform in the releases of funds to lawmakers, as this will pave the way for strengthening of monitoring system.
The Aquino administration will introduce new mechanisms in the implementation of legislator’s projects. Projects to be identified by lawmakers will be based on a tighter menu of eligible programs.
Laceras said some projects will not be allowed for implementation by the legislators like the consumable soft projects (fertilizers, seeds, medicines, medical kits, dentures, training materials, sponsorship of sports leagues, etc.) that were difficult to prove if these were consumed by the beneficiaries.
Also disallowed are temporary infrastructure projects such as road widening and graveling projects, canal dredging and desilting, and temporary bridges. The projects were proven to be susceptible to overpricing and kickbacks.
Non-government organizations (NGOs) will not be considered as conduits to the implementation of projects, in light of the massive anomalies recently discovered.
The DBM also bars some government agencies and corporations that were identified to have no capability to implement projects and were allegedly used as instruments for corruption. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)