Spurious NGO accredited by DA, says lawmaker
MANILA, Philippines - Northern Samar Rep. Emil Ong, who reportedly gave P51.4 million in pork barrel to one of 82 questionable foundations listed by the Commission on Audit (COA), on Tuesday denied knowing any non-government organization (NGO) fooling around with public funds.
Ong said the Ito Na Movement Foundation Inc. (ITO NA MI) was accredited by the Department of Agriculture (DA), which was the implementing agency for the soft projects he wanted to implement.
The COA special audit report released Friday pointed to 12 senators and more than 180 congressmen who gave P6.156 billion in priority development assistance fund (PDAF) to fake, dubious, or questionable foundations from 2007 to 2009.
Ong was mentioned for allocating a total of P51.4 million to ITO NA MI during the period for the purchase of vermiculture starter kits, farm animals including swine, ducks and goats, and vitamins and vaccines.
However, the COA report said none of the 858 individual recipients of the same confirmed receipt of the items, while 14 denied receiving anything.
“The DA has the power to accredit ITO NA MI,” Ong explained to The STAR in an effort to clear his name, adding that the NGO submitted liquidation reports.
“All of those were liquidated,” he stressed.
Ong said the PDAF funds are released to the DA in portions after the foundation liquidates or accounts for each amount it receives.
“We cannot give if it is unliquidated. We’re not foolish to give if they remain unliquidated. The liquidation reports (were) signed by COA,” Ong said.