Line agencies to get PDAF, Binay's pork
MANILA - The Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of lawmakers and Vice President Jejomar Binay's social fund will end up as additional funding for government line agencies as the budget bill for 2014 goes to the plenary next week.
After a heated debate in executive session, the House Appropriations Committee approved the committee report on the proposed national budget that will see the deletion of the P25.4 billion PDAF and its realignment into executive agencies this way:
- 35% or almost P9 billion to public works - DPWH
- 15% or P3.8 billion to education (10% CHED, 5% DepEd)
- 15% or P3.8 billion to health (DOH)
- 15% P3.8 billion to DOLE
- 20% or P5 billion to DSWD.
House Appropriations Committee Chair Isidro Ungab said under this set-up, lawmakers can still recommend projects and may even get approval for projects less, or more than the P70 million and P200 million per congressman and senator, respectively.
However, Ungab emphasized that discretion over the spending of the funds switches from the lawmakers to the departments concerned, particularly the regional officials.
These will also be subject to the rules of each department.
Ungab added that in the case of DPWH projects, lawmakers will be asked to itemize their proposed projects which will be appended to the budget bill before it is approved on 3rd reading.
ACT Teachers party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio was the lone dissenter in the voting.