Senator Alan Peter Cayetano said on Friday that the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) makes up only two percent of the government’s annual budget. The bigger anomalies are in the remaining 98 percent.
The 98 percent of the budget includes the internal revenue allotment (IRA) of local government units (LGUs) and the respective budgets of various government agencies and departments, and all that is prone to all kinds of anomalous transactions.
“There is no doubt that graft and corruption exist in these agencies and departments, and we [the Senate]are the ones that should investigate it [and provide the]the check and balance,” Cayetano said.
The Senator was reacting to claims made on Thursday by Rep. Rodolfo Antonino of Nueva Ecija province that the amount misused in LGU’s IRA could dwarf the pork barrel scam.
Antonino said IRA runs into billions of pesos each year, distributed to 80 provinces, 143 cities (33 highly-urbanized, 5 independent component, and 105 component cities), 1,491 municipalities, and 41,889 barangays.
In the proposed 2014 budget, the Department of Budget and Management will allot at least P341.543 billion for LGUs’ IRA, an amount higher than Congress’ P68 billion pork.
The IRA represents the LGUs’ share from national internal revenues.
Cayetano said there are more anomalies in IRA as well as in other funds being allotted to different government agencies of the government. He said Congress should look into these anomalies.
Unfortunately, the senator said, “the legislature’s’ credibility is now under question.”