Mayors support PDAF abolition-A A +A
Friday, September 6, 2013
MAYORS from the municipalities of Eastern Visayas have expressed support for the abolition of the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) also known as pork barrel.
Mayor Isidro Bandal of Capul in Northern Samar said that distribution of National Government resources would be fair if the funding system will be scrapped.
“If you’re not a political ally of a congressman, you’ll not easily get funding support for development projects,” Bandal said.
“We need more funding support from the Central Government to realize major projects. It would be easier for us to get aid from government agencies than from our congressman,” said Bandal, who was interviewed during a training initiated by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
Bandal said the PDAF should be downloaded directly to municipalities that truly need help.
Capul is a sixth class municipality with a population of nearly 13,000. This year, the town has only P32.48 million internal revenue allotments (IRA).
Mayor Lino Balanquit of Pambujan, also in Northern Samar, said he is in favor of putting an end to the pork barrel system to minimize corruption.
“Pork barrel funds have been a tool of a congressman to reward their partymates and deprive political foes from getting a share of the budget,” Balanquit said.
Libagon, Southern Leyte Mayor Frankie Ranque echoed the same observation of other mayors, saying “the pork barrel system is very unfair to other local chief executives who are from different party.”
“Even among those political allies of a congressman, distribution of funds depends on how close you are to them. For some, it’s hard to get funding assistance and for some is easier,” Ranque added.
Lawaan, Eastern Samar Mayor Candida Gabornes said her stand on pork barrel abolition is neutral as long as the National Government will continue to give more financial support to poor municipalities.
Limasawa, Southern Leyte Mayor Melchor Petracorta said there is a need to retain pork barrel system since it is the most accessible supplemental funds for economically depressed local government units.
(Leyte Samar Daily Express)