• Congress seeks to extend unused PDAF


    INSTEAD of letting some P20.8 billion in unused Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), recently declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, revert to the National Treasury, Congress is filing a resolution that will extend the validity of these funds for disaster relief and rehabilitation/restoration programs in calamity areas in the Visayas.

    Senate President Franklin Drilon said Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. has agreed with the move to extend the validity of these unused funds until December 31, 2014 so that they can be used for rebuilding.

    “Otherwise, if they remain unobligated by the end of 2013, the funds will go back to the National Treasury and could not be used anymore by the start of the next fiscal year,” Drilon explained.

    He said the funds can be used for massive relief and rehabilitation efforts, in light of the considerable loss of lives and property from the various devastating disasters particularly Super Typhoon Yolanda.

    “We have to capacitate the government for it to be able to respond adequately and effectively to urgent and pressing needs of our people who have been gravely affected by the series of natural and man-made calamities that hit the country, until they are able to get back up on their feet,” Drilon added.

    The Senate head earlier filed a bill that would authorize the use of the 2013 unspent PDAF, through supplemental budgeting, for the repairs of roads, bridges, schools and hospitals damaged by the series of disasters that hit the country.

    Under his proposal, P2.75 billion and P1.25 billion will go to the Department of Education (DepEd) and state universities and colleges, respectively, for the repair and rehabilitation of school and academic buildings.

    Another P3 billion was allotted for the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to repair roads, bridges and other government infrastructure and another P1.5 billion for the restoration of declared historical sites which were damaged specifically by the 7.2-magnitude earthquake in the Visayas region.

    The supplemental budget will also cover expenses for the repair of hospitals amounting P1 billion and purchase of hospital equipment amounting P500 million through the Department of Health (DOH).

    Another P1.5 billion will be for housing such as buying new relocation sites and construction of new housing units. Still another P1 billion will be for the repair of airports and ports of the Department of Transportation and Communications and {1 billion for the local governments to repair rural health centers and rehabilitation programs.

    President Benigno Aquino 3rd, is expected to certify the proposed supplemental budget as urgent to speed up its passage.


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    1 Comment

    1. JuanDelaCruzlll on

      I do believe with the absent of Freedom on information Bill, they will only give little for the relief of the typhoon Yolanda victims, most of it will go into their pocket for this christmas, thats they “christmas gift” from PNoy to have their cooperation to him. Pork is already unconstitutional, illegal. Help for the typhoon victims are pouring in from different countries although it will be not be enough, there are some legal and better ways to help our poor countrymen.