Quantcast
Latest Stories

Abad hit for loss of P500M to NGOs

By

Nearly P500 million in pork barrel funds would not have been released to dubious nongovernment organizations (NGOs) in 2011 had Budget Secretary Florencio Abad Jr. removed Philippine Forest Corp. (Philforest) from its list of eligible implementing agencies, according to officials of these groups.

Abad’s decision to retain Philforest among eligible conduits for the legislators’ Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) despite red flags raised by the Commission on Audit (COA) on the legitimacy of these NGOs underscored his central role in the continuation of the racket from the Arroyo to the Aquino administration, they said.

In February 2011, Abad issued National Budget Circular No. 529, which laid down the guidelines in the release and utilization of pork funds.

The circular sanctioned Philforest and its mother agency, the National Resources Development Corp. (NRDC), among several agencies to tap pork funds for rehabilitation and protection projects for forests and watershed areas, as well as upland planting program for jatropha to be used as feedstock for biodiesel.

Abad made Philforest an implementing agency despite an adverse report by the COA in 2010 that roughly P428.5 million in pork releases for jatropha from Philforest to several NGOs were questionable.

In a text message, Abad claimed that the lawmakers inserted Philforest as a pork conduit and that he only listed the NRDC in the budget plan he submitted to Congress for 2011.

“When the GAA (General Appropriations Act) was approved, it became NRDC-Philforest. So the amendment came from Congress. The mandate would be clearer and direct if Philforest was identified. The NDRC would have had reason to decline a PDAF download for project like jatropha cultivation,” said Abad.

Agencies had no choice

But the officials of the implementing agencies that were getting all the blame for the pork barrel scam from implicated senators and representatives claimed that they were left with no choice but to follow the DBM mandate despite lacking the resources to implement, monitor and liquidate these projects. This was confirmed in the COA special audit of pork barrel funds from 2007 to 2009.

These officials, who refused to be named, said that they wrote both Abad and his predecessor, now Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr., on their reluctance to be implementing agencies for the PDAF but they were either ignored or told to just go with the flow.

Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said that as early as 2010, he had already asked the DBM to stop using his agency and its subsidiaries, like Philforest, as pork conduits. This was why he was surprised why the pork funds went directly to Philforest without his knowledge.

Philforest president Erwin Krishan Santos had volunteered to go on indefinite leave while the issue was being investigated. Santos said that Philforest did its best to implement the DBM mandate as implementing agency of pork funds despite its lack of manpower.

Choosing the implementing agencies is just one of the key roles of the DBM in the entire pork barrel scheme.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Florencio Abad Jr. , NGOs , Philippine Forest Corp. (Philforest) , pork barrel scam , Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF)




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Santiago accuses Lacson of fronting for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  2. Name names, Lacson told
  3. Santiago: Enrile, Lacson, Reyes plotting massive psywar operation
  4. Slain officer’s ‘diagram’ rocks PNP
  5. Kris Aquino’s ex- close in security named new Air Force chief
  6. Ex-COA chief nabbed for plunder
  7. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  8. Obama: US will defend Japan vs China
  9. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  10. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  3. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  4. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  5. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  6. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  7. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  8. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  9. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  10. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  1. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  2. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  3. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
Advertisement

News

  • Obama due in Seoul as North Korea nuclear test fears grow
  • Hold departure order out vs Corona, Singson
  • Malaysia to release MH370 report–PM
  • Man found dead in Quezon City, alleged victim of summary execution–report
  • Aquino to lead Air Force turnover rites
  • Sports

  • Michael Phelps loses to Lochte in comeback meet
  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Recovered’ Banksy works on display ahead of sale
  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Entertainment

  • Paul McCartney to play at Candlestick concert
  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • Business

  • PAL hailed for ban on shark fin cargo
  • BSP to change tint of P100 bill
  • Nielsen sees car buying boom in the Philippines
  • How author of best-seller exposed ‘one percent’ economic elite
  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Technology

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • Opinion

  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • A graduation story
  • Global Nation

  • China welcomes PH apology
  • Only 4 Etihad passengers not accounted for
  • Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  • Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  • HK victims to get P115M; traders raised money
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement