LINGAYEN -- Thirty two municipalities and cities in the province of Pangasinan received on Friday Special Allotment Release Orders (SAROs) from Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri.

Each locality will receive an average of P600,000 fund from the senator’s Priority Assistance Development Program (PDAF) or pork barrel.

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Zubiri emphasized that the fund will be used specifically for the construction of a classroom, day care center, barangay hall or a multi-purpose hall.

“In Mindanao, a mayor bought tigers which he placed in a cage at the town plaza. Now they’re having a problem on how to feed them,” he said matter-of-factly, citing this as reason why he mentioned what projects the funds are to be used to.

The ceremonial distribution of the SAROs to the mayors was held at the Provincial Board session hall in the presence of Acting Governor Jose Ferdinand Calimlim Jr., Acting Vice Governor Jeremy Agerico Rosario, and the Provincial Board members.

The special allotment fund was coursed through the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The recipient-LGUs are Agno, Anda, Bolinao, Burgos, Dasol, Infanta, Sual (of the first district); Basista, Binmaley, Labrador, Urbiztondo (second district); Sta. Barbara, Malasiqui, San Carlos City (third district); Manaoag, San Fabian (fourth district); Urdaneta City, Alcala, Bautista, Laoac, Pozorrubio, Villasis (fifth district); and Asingan, Balungao, Natividad, Rosales, Sta. Maria, San Manuel, San Nicolas, Tayug and Umingan (fifth district).

“This is my advocacy, to give one project per town/city all over the Philippines from Aparri to Jolo. This is my own little way of sharing whatever we get from the national government,” he remarked.

“I hope (this effort) is infectious. I hope it catches fire with the other senators,” he added.

Zubiri further said each barangay in his district in Bukidnon received projects from him during his term.

On the last two years, the senator delivered projects to Pangasinan amounting to P18.5 million that assisted 16 cities and municipalities here. These were part of his campaign promise to the Pangasinenses during the 2007 elections.

Meanwhile, Calimlim thanked the senator for the projects he poured to the province.

“What is heartwarming is the way he is doing it. We know how some national officials, when they give benefits/projects to localities, it is individual in nature- for a certain request or for certain official. But in this instance, like what Governor Amado Espino Jr. is doing, what he gives one, he gives to all Here we have a senator who gives equally also to each city and municipality,” Calimlim said.

Before the distribution of the SAROs, he clarified that his office is not collecting any percentage from his projects. “No percentage caps are to be taken by my staff or people claiming to be my staff.”

“We want to implement the projects 100%, no tongpats,” added Calimlim.

Apparently, an incident was discovered somewhere in Mindanao where a staff of the Department of Budget and Management went around pretending to be his staff and was collecting certain commission from his projects.

Calimlim requested the mayors to submit later photos and details of the project for transparency. (Liway C. Manantan-Yparraguirre)