Governor Hilario P. Davide III said he is against the abolition of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or the “pork barrel”, but there must be safeguards and guidelines on how the funds will be distributed.
“My position has always been that the pork barrel should be responsively and judiciously used,” Davide told the media in a press conference last Wednesday, August 28 at the Capitol.
He said that the Congressmen needed their PDAF for their own programs and projects that could be given directly to their constituents in their respective districts. However, they must ensure that the money will not go to the wrong hands but only to the intended beneficiaries.
The Governor’s position, which he already announced to the media at the earlier stage of the expose of the alleged misuse of legislators’ PDAF, was also echoed by President Benigno Simeon “PNoy” Aquino III.
In his message prior to last Monday’s (August 26) “Million People March,” a nationwide rally calling the government to scrap the PDAF, Aquino said the pork barrel will be scrapped. However, the legislators will still be given their prerogative to choose what kinds of projects they would want to be implemented in their districts. He added that without the PDAF, the budget of these proposed projects will now be included in the annual appropriations of the national government.
Davide said those who are involved in the P10 billion pork barrel scam should be investigated and those who are guilty should be penalized. However, he also went theoretical if the pork ibarrel would be abolished, Instead of coursing their requests for assistance to their district representatives, Davide said, the people might go directly to his office. “Maayo unta ug tabangan ta sa national government, butangan pud ta ug pundo diri,” he said. (Xerxes Alkuino)