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Cebu City bets not averse to pork funds

/ 08:13 AM May 06, 2013

Health and social services, infrastructure projects, jobs creation and free education for the poor were among the priorities given by five congressional aspirants who attended last week’s Mega Cebu Candidates Forum.

Two of them—Team Rama congressional candidate Aristotle Batuhan and independent candidate Vicente Manalac – oppose the use of pork barrel funds on new flyover projects.

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“We have too many flyovers and I will not support any new flyover,” said Batuhan.

Cebu City congressional aspirants were asked during the forum how they intend to use the P70 million pork barrel funds given to legislators in case they win in the elections.

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Also in attendance were former Municipal  Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) judge Donato Navarro, former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) director Florencio Villarin and Pablo “Jhunnex” Doronio Jr.

Batuhan is running for Cebu City’s south district while the rest are running for Cebu City’s north district.

Batuhan, Navarro, and Doronio said they are against the release of pork barrel funds to congressmen and pushed for its abolition.

But Batuhan said he won’t deprive Cebu City south residents of their share of pork barrel funds. If elected, Batuhan said the pork barrel funds will be spent on housing, health services and free education programs.

Doronio said he wanted his pork spent to “benefit the people (of Cebu City’s north district).”

His priority program will be free education from elementary to college level.

He said flyover projects are not a solution to the city’s growing traffic problems.

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While he is against the release of pork barrel funds, Navarro said he won’t be a hyprocite and not use them to fund projects for the north district. Navarro said he would allocate funds for road widening and the delivery of health services to the people.

Mañalac said he would allocate pork barrel funds to the Department of Public Works and Highways for essential infrastructure projects except for flyovers.

Villarin said the national government should do more line budgeting and wanted pork barrel funds spent on housing, health and jobs creation programs. /Doris C. Bongcac, Chief of Reporters

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TAGS: Cebu, flyover, Pork barrel
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