Abad: PDAF realigned in 2014 budget
MANILA - Lawmakers' Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) has been removed in the 2014 budget but the funds have been realigned to 5 national government agencies, Budget Secretary Butch Abad said in a Senate committee hearing Wednesday.
This includes scholarships under state universities and the Commission on Higher Education; employment under DOLE and TESDA; medical assistance under the DOH; assistance to persons in crisis under the DSWD, and local infrastructure projects under the DPWH.
Abad said 20 percent of the funds would go to education, 15 percent to health, 10 percent to employment, 20 percent for assistance to persons in crisis and 34 percent to infrastructure projects.
He told Senate finance committee chairman Senator Francis Escudero that P24.5 million was allocated per congressman per district.
Abad, however, added that the amount should be for specific projects only.
He also said the funds may not be downloaded for non-government organizations.
Escudero asked Abad to clarify if the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) is an item in the budget.
"DAP is not an item in the budget? DAP for lack of a better name, is a slogan that you call utilization of savings?" he asked.
Abad answered, "that's correct."
Abad explained they don't charge a project under DAP, but as savings. "The process is, declare savings, then you augment a particular item in the budget, whether there is DAP or not."
He cited the earthquake in Bohol and said that since the calamity fund has is being depleted, "you would need to augment the calamity fund and therefore resort to savings or augmentation of calamity funds would be necessary, but that is not, strictly speaking, DAP."
Abad later told reporters the executive department only has a little over a billion pesos left from the P7.5-billion calamity fund.
The government is now looking into augmenting the calamity fund from some of the government's savings.