DA unit gave P116.7M 'pork' to NGOs in 2012
MANILA, Philippines - The National Agricultural and Fishery Council (NAFC), a mere advisory body of the Department of Agriculture (DA), gave more than P116.7 million in pork barrel funds to various non-government organizations (NGOs) and people's organizations (POs) for the implementation of various livelihood projects last year.
While the Commission on Audit (COA) is not saying that public funds went to bogus NGOs and POs as in the case of the pork barrel scam involving Janet Lim-Napoles, it frowned at how the NAFC was allowed to engage in such activities “which were not within the ambit of its mandate and functions.”
In a report released over the weekend, state auditors said the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released P199.4 million in Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to the office of Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala in 2011 and 2012.
The entire amount was given to the NAFC in 2012 which eventually transferred over P116.7 million to NGOs and POs by entering into memoranda of agreement (MOAs) with these groups, similar to how 82 questionable foundations received P6.156 billion in pork barrel funds from 200 senators and congressmen from 2007 to 2009, based on a separate special audit by the COA.
According to records, 20 Special Allotment Release Orders (SAROs) show the release of P199.4 million in pork barrel funds by the DBM to the Office of the Agriculture Secretary (DA-OSEC) as the key implementing agency for the livelihood projects.
From March 23, 2012 to Nov. 26, 2012, NAFC entered into MOAs with various NGOs and POs for the implementation of livelihood projects amounting to more than P116.7 million.
Under the agreements, the role of NAFC included coordinating with the office of the legislator for the submission of project proposals and other pertinent documents necessary to effect the fund transfers.