Leni Robredo wants bottom-up budgeting
MANILA - Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo told her allies and colleagues to be sensitive to the outrage of the public over the pork barrel scam.
The wife of the late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo emphasized the need to remove the discretionary nature of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
“Wake up call ito sa ating lahat sa amin as an institution: Ano ba problema ng present system? Mahaba ang proseso, but it doesn’t stop us from doing what we can for our districts,” she said.
She said she supports the reforms proposed by President Benigno Aquino III in his speech on Friday. Aquino said the PDAF should be abolished and the money diverted to projects specified by line items in the budget.
Prior to this, Robredo said she was already preparing guidelines for her own PDAF's use, part of which is the establishment of a district development council which will help her identify what is needed on the ground.
Until now, Robredo said she has not tapped into her own PDAF.
Robredo said she intends to file a resolution on this scheme, called Full Disclosure Bill, which will go hand in hand with the bottom-up budgeting (BUB) and line-item budgeting of the projects.
She said her plan was inspired by a similar mechanism put in place by her late husband when he was mayor of Naga City.
She said the PDAF may be used as a development tool that can be accessed by those who perform according to targets.
She said private and nongovernment organizations have no business implementing PDAF projects.
She said it is the discretionary nature of the PDAF which makes it open to patronage politics. Many lawmakers have used their PDAF honestly, she said.
She said her predecessor may have used his PDAF in patronage politics, noting his name is all over the projects in their district.
She said that since the PDAF involves taxpayers' money, the public must be involved in disbursing it.
Robredo and Samar Rep. Mel Sarmiento said the scheme they will introduce matches the proposal of the President.
She said the new scheme must be properly explained to the public. "Kailangan mapaintindi sa tao. Kung may di nakakaintindi may pagkukulang kami."
Robredo added making the process transparent also ensures that a public official like her won’t abuse her office. – from a report by RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News