TESDA chief: Implementing agencies at fault in pork scam

Posted at 09/05/13 7:20 PM

MANILA - Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Director General Joel Villanueva said the implementing agency is responsible for determining the legality of a non-government organization (NGO).

He added the implementing agency, or in this case, the executive department, is the one responsible in checking if the NGO is legitimate even if it is endorsed by a legislator.

"Nasa sa iyo yung pondo eh, Ikaw yung implementing agency eh. I'm not trying to defend any member of the House, but it is the duty of the implementing agency to see to it," he said.

The former CIBAC party-list congressman lamented that legislators are now being given a "bad name" because of the pork barrel scam, but he also said those who are guilty should pay for their sins.

"Gusto nating malaman meron bang corruption, meron bang nangyaring nakawan, meron bang ghost projects at dapat maparusahan ito. Di rin ako mag o-object kung bibitayin yung mga salarin.”

Villanueva also said people should be careful in divulging information that may be misinterpreted, like what happened to Rep. Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora. The latter allegedly received a huge amount of pork, which the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) later said was a mistake.

"Di lahat ng miyembro ng Kamara ay sangkot dito, Hindi lahat ng nais maglingkod sa bayan ay guilty dito,” Villanueva said.

"Kunyari sabi nya, gustong ilagay ang pondo na ito sa isang particular na eskwelahan. Hindi na po nya trabaho na i check kung ang eskwelahan na ito ay accredited ng TESDA. Hindi na trabaho ni [congressman] na i-check kung meron bang equipment, trainer. It's his or her choice kung i-check nya ho sa atin. Pero trabaho po namin yun, Tesda,” he said.

Villanueva said during his time as a CIBAC lawmaker, he gave 95% of his PDAF to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and 40,000 scholars. He said he has pictures and records to show that the money went to the intended beneficiaries.

With issues involving the pork barrel scam, however, he supports the abolition of the PDAF.

"Ang problema ngayon, nakikita natin na itong weaknesses ng system, nakikita ng mga oportunista, It's about time we abolish and come up with a better system," he said.

Villanueva was in Bacoor, Caavite to attend the graduation rites of some 600 TESDA students who finished their free training in different fields like make-up, baking etc.

Rep. Lani Mercado and son Cavite Vice Governor Jolo Revilla were supposed to attend the event but did not show up because they had other commitments.

The family patriarch, Senator Bong Revilla, has been linked to the scam.