Palace insists PDAF abolished

Posted at 01/16/14 2:28 AM

MANILA, Philippines - There is no more Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

Malacañang reiterated this Wednesday amid concerns over the realignment of funds of some senators, including the P100 million that Sen. Jinggoy Estrada allocated for the city of Manila.

“First and foremost, what is very, very clear under the law is that there is no more PDAF because the President, the Supreme Court (SC) already mentioned there is no PDAF,” presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said.

He added that lawmakers from both the House of Representatives and the Senate complied with the SC decision.

Lacierda said Budget Secretary Florencio Abad had also explained that Estrada’s realignment of his PDAF to the city of Manila where his father, former President Joseph Estrada, is the incumbent mayor, was part of the amendment introduced by the senators.

“The answer of Secretary Abad was that we need to study… we need to get their (side) or the intention of the senators insofar as this is concerned,” he said.

He said all realignments were part of the amendments that have been agreed upon by the bicameral conference committee that threshed out the final budget bill.

He said it is part of the legislative process, adding that the propriety of the insertions is up to lawmakers to explain.

Lacierda also clarified misimpressions that lump sum appropriations have been prohibited by the high court.

“If I remember the SC decision, there was no all-out ruling that lump sum appropriations are wrong,” he said.

Lacierda also debunked claims that senators who had realignments may have pulled a fast one on Aquino, noting that they are subject to conditional implementation.

“We have a requirement on what we call conditional implementation that was stated in the veto message of the President,” he said.

“With that conditional implementation we still have to talk to the senators, in fairness to them. What was your intention,” he added.