House realigns P25.4B PDAF
MANILA - The House of Representatives is keeping a reincarnated version of the pork barrel in the 2014 budget.
The House of Representatives formally realigned P25.4 billion in priority development assistance funds (PDAF) of Congress and the Office of the Vice President at the start of the budget hearing in plenary Monday.
This, amid the pork barrel scam that will see the filing of complaints against certain lawmakers for alleged misuse of the PDAF.
House appropriations committee chairman Isidro Ungab delivered the sponsorship speech Monday, where he revealed that the line item lump sum has been deleted following the call for greater transparency in government.
The lump sum is thus realigned as follows:
P2.669 billion to the Commission on Higher Education and
P1.022 billion to the Department of Education for educational assistance;
P3.691 billion to the Department of Health and other government hospitals for medical support to indigents;
P4.71 billion to the Department of Social Welfare and Development for medical and funeral assistance;
P3.691B to the Department of Labor and Employment and TESDA for employment assistance and P9.654 billion under the Department of Public Works and Highways for infrastructure projects that will be identified by lawmakers in a detailed list that will be appended to the budget bill before it is approved on 3rd reading.
The budget is expected to be approved on 3rd reading in late october 2013.
Ungab said indigents and informal settlers are the primary beneficaries of the projects funded from distributed pork barrel funds.
Speaker Sonny Belmonte previously said lawmakers reserve the right to recommend projects and beneficiaries.
The safeguards include no downloading of funds to non-government organizations; no use of PDAF outside congressional districts, strict adherence to government procurement laws, third party monitoring of project progress and the reporting of the project status on the appropriate government websites.
Ungab said he is confident the budget bill will be signed into law before the start of 2014.