2 lawmakers express reservation on plan to abolish PDAF-A A +A
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
TWO members of the House of Representatives in Eastern Visayas have expressed reservation on totally scrapping funding support to lawmakers, amid public outrage on pork barrel fund misuse.
In his Facebook page, Samar Representative Mel Senen Sarmiento (1st district) said the “best option” could be further tightening the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) through new mechanisms.
“The complete abolition of PDAF appears to be the spur of the moment answer by people understandably angered by the extent of reported anomalies on the controversial pork barrel. But this may not, after all, be the best option,” Sarmiento said.
Sarmiento, who is the secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Party, said there is a need to retain funding support to finance scholarship programs and health needs of poor families in the district.
“I suggested for a reduced menu to further tighten the use of the same. Likewise informed the public that the PDAF has been tightened as early as November 2010 and the issue at hand is based on the previous congresses prior to the 15th congress,” he said.
The lawmaker has received a total of P190-million as his PDAF for the district from second semester to 2010 to first half of 2013, based on records of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
Leyte Representative Ferdinand Martin Romualdez (1st district) dared the Aquino administration to identify all items to be funded under the national budget.
“Instead of rebranding the controversial pork barrel system into a new name, I challenged President Benigno Aquino III to subject all items into the 2014 P2.268-trillion General Appropriation Bill including the P1-trillion lump sum funds to line item budgeting,” he said in his Facebook account.
Romualdez, which leads a “third force” in the 16th Congress, said the move to return to the line budgeting will ensure transparency and accountability.
The proposed scheme will basically list or identify all the items to be funded by pork barrel and other projects of different government agencies, he added.
Although Romualdez belongs to opposition bloc, he received P183.35 million as his pork barrel from 2010 to mid-2013. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)