Lawmakers want early release of pork barrel in times of calamitiesBy Karen Boncocan
MANILA, Philippines — Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. on Wednesday urged Malacañang to release the lawmakers’ pork barrel early so they can help in the relief and rehabilitation efforts in their districts in times of calamities.
Showing up at the House of Representatives for an inspection of the chamber despite the cancellation of session, Belmonte said that although their Priority Development Assistance Fund is being released on time, it would be best if it will be released earlier than usual.
When disasters strike, they have to act fast so that medicines, food, drinking water and clothing can be sent to victims at evacuation centers. In some districts badly hit by massive floods, it was also necessary to immediately repair bridges, roads and other damaged infrastructure.
Accounts chair An Waray Representative Florencio Noel said that the House of Representatives has also launched its own donation drive, headed by Belmonte who urged fellow lawmakers to help districts in need of relief assistance.
He said that they are now identifying which districts should need additional assistance so they can ask the other districts that have been spared by disasters to help in the speedy recovery of those affected.
Meanwhile, floodwaters hit several areas inside the Batasan Complex including Noel’s office, the bills and index service, and the archives.