• PDAF controversy could be part of the effort to convince lawmakers to let go of their pork

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    REPORTS linking some members of Congress in the supposed misuse of the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) could be part of the effort to convince lawmakers to let go or abolish their annual “pork” allocation, Sen. Vicente Sotto 3rd said on Monday.

    Although he did not say who he thinks is behind the plan, Sotto said there seems to be a pattern wherein senators belonging to the minority bloc are among those being targeted and linked to the supposed scam.

    According Sotto there could be some sectors that wanted to negatively project PDAF to the public so that it will not be difficult to convince lawmakers to let go of their respective pork barrel fund.

    The lawmaker however made it clear that he has no problem with the abolition of PDAF adding that he can perform his duty as a senator with or without P200 million annual allocation.

    He said removing the PDAF of lawmakers could even make his job easy because he will not have to decide on the voluminous funding requests from different local government units in the country, which is said is a very difficult task.

    Calls for the abolition of the pork barrel is slowly gaining support following reports about its supposed misuse wherein portion of the annual pork barrel were given to bogus non-governmental organizations and ghost projects.

    Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, Gregorio Honasan 2nd, Ramon Revilla Jr., Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Lito Lapid and Sotto were named as among the source of the PDAF that went to bogus projects.

    Sotto said he is in favor of removing the PDAF but the move may also give rise to new problems that might even tougher to address compared to the current issue.

    Without PDAF, Sotto said, lawmakers could resort to insertion, wherein they will just insert their projects in the GAA (General Appropriations Act).

    “Congress holds the power of the purse, so unless we find a better solution, we should review the possibilities first,” he added,

    If in case congress decides to retain PDAF, Sotto said that, lawmakers should come up with a system that could strictly monitor its utilization.

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