THE critics of President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III belonging to the House opposition will receive the remaining priority development assistance fund (PDAF) or pork barrel, assured the House Speaker.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte said that even former President and incumbent Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (second district, Pampanga) will get her fair share for her constituents even if Arroyo was known to withheld the PDAF of her critics in the last Congress.

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“Baka naman hindi na kailangan ni GMA (Arroyo) pero pag kinuha niya, definitely we will give it of course,” Belmonte told reporters.

He stressed that the House leadership is pushing for fairness and distributing the pork equally is a reminder of its thrust. “Definitely, that is the very essence of our leadership and P-Noy's leadership."

The amount that was not used up in 2010 will be disbursed by the budget office soon, Belmonte said, while adding that Aquino will honor the PDAF contained in the 2010 budget.

Each district and party-list representative receives a yearly PDAF allocation of P70 million for their constituents.

Meanwhile, Belmonte lauded once more not only the neophytes in the House of Representatives but also its senior members for their attendance and participation during sessions.

He said even perennial absentee lawmaker Julio "Jules" Ledesma IV (first district, Negros Occidental) has promised him personally that he will be attending the sessions and actively participating in his House committees.

“I actually had a heart to heart talk with Jules and he promised me he will definitely work as hard as he did before,” Belmonte said without revealing Ledesma's reasons for missing the sessions in the past Congress. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)