PDAF formally scrapped next week
MANILA - The P25-billion Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) will finally be scrapped next Monday when the House of Representatives votes on third reading on the proposed P2.268-trillion 2014 national budget.
“The final copy will show that PDAF is no longer in next year’s budget as approved by the plenary on second reading two weeks ago,” Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab, appropriations committee chairman, said yesterday.
He said his committee is now in the process of receiving proposed amendments from House members and preparing a clean copy of the budget bill for final-reading vote next Monday.
He said his committee’s mandate is to remove PDAF from the final copy and to distribute it among several agencies that would implement the lawmakers’ pre-identified projects in their districts.
Infrastructure projects would be listed in detail in the 2014 budget, eliminating post budget-approval identification by senators and congressmen, a feature of the present system that the public and some Supreme Court justices find objectionable, he added.
While the House is for realigning the PDAF, the Senate wants it totally scrapped and deducted from the national budget.
Thus, if senators would have their way, the 2014 spending bill would go down by P25 billion.
However, congressmen will most likely not agree to totally scrapping pork barrel funds since it would mean depriving their districts of a minimum amount of money for infrastructure and social services.