ILOILO CITY—A partylist group representing energy consumers spent P61 million of its pork barrel allocation from 2010 to 2013 for training in making soap, quilt, candle and jewelry, according to records of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
Former Rep. Salvador Cabaluna III of 1st Consumers Alliance for Rural Energy Inc. (1-Care) also allocated P13.85 million in 2013 for 101 projects in the second district of Iloilo where he ran and lost in the race for congressional district representative last May elections.
The Inquirer tried to reach Cabaluna for comment. But he failed to answer repeated calls and text messages.
1-Care, which won two seats in the 2010 elections, “aims to empower, protect, promote, and advance the basic rights of consumers in the availment of quality products/services,” according to its Facebook page. It focuses on consumers of electricity, water, telephone and transportation services.
Congressmen are entitled to P70 million in Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) each year for projects that they would identify.
The DBM report on PDAF allocations from 2010 to 2013 showed that Cabaluna and Rep. Michael Angelo Rivera allocated P60,875,000 for livelihood training in the provinces of Bohol, Basilan, Davao Oriental and Misamis Oriental.
In 2013 alone, Rivera allocated P5 million for a training in soap and jewelry making in Bohol.
In this year also, Cabaluna allocated P14 million or nearly half of his P35-million PDAF releases for 40 palay seeds projects amounting to P350,000 each in Maguindanao.
Cabaluna allocated P7.5 million for six soap-making training in Basilan in 2012. He also allocated P4 million for a soap-making training in Cagayan de Oro City and P1,875,000 for rubber tree seedlings assistance in Tipo-Tipo, Basilan, last year.
Last year, Rivera allocated P18 million for four training on soap making, fish processing, candle making and jewelry making in Davao Oriental.
In 2010, Cabaluna allocated P11 million for various nationwide training including on cosmetology, “dimsum delights,” hair accessories making and trendy balloons.
Cabaluna ran but lost as an independent candidate for representative of Iloilo’s second congressional district.
Early last year, before the elections, he allocated P13,850,000 for 101 various projects in the district including 39 projects in his hometown of Leon, Iloilo, according to the DBM report.
The projects ranging from P100,000 to P500,000 each involve concreting and repair of roads, repair of multipurpose buildings and construction of water systems.