VICE President Jejomar Binay on Tuesday called on the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to clarify if the P200 million allocated in his budget for social services is considered a pork barrel fund.
Binay said he is willing to abolish the amount, which is included in the regular budget of the Office of the Vice President (OVP), if it is considered Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) by the DBM.
“The DBM should say if the amount is considered PDAF. If it is PDAF, then abolish it in keeping with the President’s directive,” said Binay in a statement.
The P200 million budget was given to OVP in the 2011 budget sourced from the unused PDAF of President Benigno Aquino 3rd during his term as senator.
For this year, Binay has a budget of P416.6 million, P200 million of which is his pork barrel fund, plus an additional P85 million for “subsidies and donations.”
According to the budget law, the P200 million “shall be used to fund the priority programs and projects of the Vice President.”
Binay said the OVP’s social services budget has been audited by the Commission on Audit (COA) and the agency has praised the OVP on how it disburses the funds.
“Our disbursement for social services have not only been audited by COA but also praised by the agency. The disbursements have passed the agency’s scrutiny,” he said.
Binay earlier urged Filipinos to be more vigilant in making government officials accountable for the use of government funds.
He said the issue is not about the pork barrel itself, but corruption in the system adding that the perpetrators of the crime should be prosecuted and punished. RITCHIE A. HORARIO