ILOILO CITY—Former representatives Janette Garin of Iloilo and Roilo Golez of Parañaque City may have staunchly taken opposing sides in the passage of the reproductive health (RH) law but this did not stop them from exchanging their pork barrel for their respective districts.
Garin allocated P20 million from her Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to Golez’s district in 2012 and 2013 while Golez allocated the same amount from his pork barrel to Garin’s district in 2013, according to records of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
Garin, now a Department of Health undersecretary, said she offered her PDAF allotment to Golez in 2012 because she was still processing requirements for projects in her district.
She said there was nothing irregular with the practice, stressing that this was allowed by the DBM.
Garin said her district was not deprived of funds because it was replaced by the same allocation from Golez.
Garin allocated P20 million for five projects in the 2nd District of Parañaque, all involving the construction of multipurpose buildings. The projects were implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways’ 2nd Engineering District of Manila.
In Dec. 13, 2012, Garin allocated P9 million for multipurpose buildings in Triple S, Don Bosco (P4.5M), and Levitown 5, Don Bosco, (P4.5M) in Parañaque.
On Feb. 5 this year, Garin also allocated P4 million to Annex 34, Don Bosco; P3 million to El Dorado Dulo, Don Bosco; and P4 million to Eugenio Park, Marcelo Green.
This year, Golez allocated P20 million for “assistance for social services” to the towns of Tubungan (P4.5M), San Joaquin (P8M), Guimbal (P4.5M) and Oton (P3M), all in the 1st District of Iloilo.
Garin and Golez, who ended their third term in Congress in June this year, were on opposing sides in the RH law.
Garin was a staunch advocate of the RH law while Golez was among the most visible in opposing it.
Golez, who was conspicuously absent during the voting on the bill on Dec. 12, 2012, later explained that he opted to “walk out” because of an order by the administration party to vote for the bill.
Iloilo Rep. Jerry Treñas and Manila Rep. Ma. Theresa Bonoan-David also swapped their PDAF amounting to P1 million, according to the DBM report.
Treñas allocated P1 million in August 2011 for the 4th District of Manila in educational assistance and implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development-National Capital Region.
In turn, Bonoan-David allocated the same amount for a drainage project in Barangay Aguinaldo in La Paz District in Iloilo City.
The DBM, in its Circular No. 457 dated Jan. 18, allows representatives to implement programs and projects outside their legislative districts with the written concurrence of the representatives of the beneficiary district and endorsement by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
President Aquino last month said that the congressmen’s PDAF should be used in the district or sector they represent.