Councilors ask DBM lawmakers’ pork barrel projects
By JOHN RIZLE L. SALIGUMBA
DAVAO CITY – Councilors are asking the Department of Budget and Management to furnish them a list of projects funded under the controversial pork barrel or the Priority Development Assistant Fund (PDAF) given to the city’s three district representatives.
The resolution was filed by second district Councilor Diosdado Mahipus who said the Council’s move “requires courage … to support the questioning of the pork barrel funds which is now being admitted by the DBM and the COA (Commission on Audit) to have been squandered by national lawmakers,” he said.
The councilor said the resolution is for the “interest of transparency and good governance” and in line with clamor of Davaoenos who joined Monday’s nationwide anti-pork barrel protest.
The resolution calls for DBM to release the list of PDAF projects of former representatives Prospero Nograles (District 1), Vincent Garcia (District 2) and Ruy Elias Lopez (District 3).
The current representatives are Karlo Alexei (son of Prospero Nograles) for District 1, Mylene Garcia-Albano (sister of Vincent) for District 2, and Isidro Ungab for District 3.
Each member of the House of Repreesentatives receive a PDAF allocation of 70 Php million annually, which will be divided to “hard” projects such as construction of infrastructure and highways, and “soft” projects such as scholarships and medical/hospital assistance to indigents.
The Council also added in its query PDAF projects from Senators that were allocated for Davao City.
Mahipus said in particular they would look into the Php 760 million project of asphalting and gravelling of roads, and Php 500M worth of medical assistance to “indigents.”
Third district representative Isidro Ungab, who chairs the House Committee on Appropriations, was implicated in the Janet Lim-Napoles scam where he allocated funds for a farmers’ NGO called Kaupdan para sa Mangunguma Foundation, which was one of the 20 bogus NGOs managed by Napoles.
Ungab denied the allegation saying records from COA and Department of Agriculture would show that the farmers benefitted from the project. (JOHN RIZLE L. SALIGUMBA/ davaotoday.com)