NOT one member of the House of Representatives realigned their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) for the benefit of their allies or relatives in local government units (LGUs), the chairman of the House appropriations committee said Friday.
House panel chairman and Davao Representative Isidro Ungab clarified this amid reports that one senator was allowed to realign his PDAF to an LGU after the fund was deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court (SC) and was removed from the General Appropriations Act.
"No member of the House realigned their PDAF to LGUs. All congressmen realigned to the following national implementing agencies-DPWH, CHED, DOH, DSWD and DOLE/Tesda," Ungab said in a text message.
Senator Jinggoy Estrada was reportedly the lone lawmaker who realigned his P200-million PDAF to LGUs; one of which is the city of Manila where his father, former President Joseph "Erap" Estrada, is now mayor.
Manila received P100 million, while Caloocan City and the town of Lla-lo in Cagayan got P50 million each.
Even before the SC ruled on the legality of the PDAF, the House leadership has decided to realign all the PDAF allocated to congressmen to the agencies mentioned by Ungab. These include the Departments of Public Works and Highways, Health, Social Welfare and Development, and Labor and Employment; the Commission on Higher and Education, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.
Cavite Representative Elpidio Barzaga Jr. had urged Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero, chairperson of the Senate finance committee, to disclose whether there were congressmen who also transferred their PDAF during the bicameral conference panel meetings.
“Senator Chiz should name the congressmen and Rep. (Isidro) Ungab should confirm or deny the allegation... There is no agreement that PDAF can be realigned to LGUs. It’s only now that I’ve learned that it was done," Barzaga said. (Sunnex)