DAGUPAN CITY, Philippines—Department of Budget and Management records show former Pangasinan Representative Ma. Rachel Arenas spent P35 million of her Priority Development Assistance Fund allocation outside her district late last year and early this year, but the former legislator denied she spent her “pork barrel” funds outside her province’s third district.
A list of e-fund releases posted in the DBM website (pdaf.dbm.gov.ph) showed that Arenas spent P15 million of her P70-million PDAF allocation in 2012 for various projects in Abra province and in the City of Manila.
In January this year, at the start of her last six months in office, the DBM website showed that Arenas released P20 million to fund various projects in Compostela Valley and, again, in the City of Manila.
The PDAF is a lump-sum appropriation in the annual national budget allocated to legislators to fund priority development programs and projects of the government.
But Arenas denied this, saying she has not given her PDAF allocation to other areas outside Pangasinan’s third district.
“Being the biggest district in terms of population and almost the biggest in terms of size, the funds are so not enough to meet the needs and requests of my constituents. Therefore, it is most illogical to even think of using it outside the 304 barangays of my district,” Arenas said in an e-mail to the Philippine. Daily Inquirer.