Malacanang will not let go of the President’s Social Fund (PSF), regarded as the presidential version of the “pork barrel.”
In a press conference Monday, Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the PSF undergoes regular state audit.
“The question is in the context of misuse. It has been audited. The President’s Social Fund has been audited in the same manner that the PDAF [Priority Development Assistance Fund] has been audited,” he said
“We know all these—all these reports are all out there. It’s all out there [on]the website, you can see the websites,” Lacierda added. “We are very transparent. The audited reports of the PSF is all there.”
Lacierda said the President’s calamity fund also stays, and will only be scrapped “when you abolish typhoons and storms.”
“Can we abolish typhoons and storms? [If yes] I’m for the abolition of the calamity fund,” Lacierda said.
Palace deputy spokesman Abigail Valte earlier said that unlike the discretionary fund allotted to lawmakers, the PSF is not vulnerable to abuse.
“From the time the President assumed office, safeguards have been put in place to make sure that the funds from the PSF go to its intended use,” Valte said.
The PSF is a source of financial aid for the families of soldiers, policemen or government personnel killed in the line of duty, and its distribution is transparent, she said.
CATHERINE S. VALENTE