MANILA, 29Aug2013 (PNA) – Each congressman is entitled to P70 million Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) but they can ask for more funds which is sourced from other fundings which are part of the approved General Appropriations Act, former House Minority Leader Edcel Lagman said Thursday.
According to the veteran lawmaker, most of the allocations came not from the PDAF but from the erstwhile Congressional Initiative Allowance (CIA) and the Congressional Leadership Fund accorded to ranking officers of the Congress and major Committee Chairman.
He underscored that the PDAF has an inelastic ceiling of P70 million annually per representative which cannot be exceeded while CIA and leadership fund came from separate appropriation items included in the annual GAA as sources of additional allocations.
The additional allocations were sourced principally from the Financial Assistance to Local Government Units (FALGU) and the Various Infrastructure including Local Projects (VILP), both of which were lawfully appropriated in the GAA.
He likewise disclosed that the respective Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) and Notices of Cash Allocations (NCA) also indicated the funding sources for the releases.
Lagman’s reaction is based on the report of the Commission on Audit (COA) made public by Chairperson Grace Pulido-Tan that he got a total of P130 million fund allocation for Tabaco City from his PDAF and that the project implementation was not pursuant to the rules.
“Tabaco City is not a conduit of pork but a deserving beneficiary of much-needed government funding support,” Lagman said.
He said that both the fund allocation and the project implementation were above-board and transparent and all of the funded projects and programs have been completed and verifiable in accordance with rules and guidelines.
“There must be a clear distinction between anomalous releases which end up in fictitious NGOs and those which directly benefited constituents in cities, municipalities and barangays,” Lagman pointed out.
Lagman further said that all Tabaco City projects and programs funded from the subject allocations were completely covered by requisite vouchers and postings for public bidding purposes and the COA Regional Office in the Bicol Region had been given copies or access to the said vouchers and postings. (PNA)