Student seeks aid as PDAF funds cut | Inquirer News

Student seeks aid as PDAF funds cut

/ 11:24 AM November 21, 2013

EIGHTEEN-year-old scholar Joshua Carbonilla’s visit to Cebu City Hall coincided with yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling that declared the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) as unconstitutional.

Carbonilla, whose tuition was sponsored by former Cebu City congressman Tomas Osmeña’s PDAF, submitted a letter to Mayor Michael Rama, asking that he be included in the city’s scholarship program.

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Each City Hall scholar receives a P10,000 tuition subsidy and a P1,000 monthly allowance.

Though his family resides in baragay Tejero, Joshua studied high school in Mandaue City.

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In his application letter, Carbonilla promised to Mayor Rama that he will “maintain his standing” as a dean’s lister.

“I will not waste this opportunity that you’ll bestow on me because I believe that education is a ticket for a better future and the state’s responsibility because it is a right not a privilege,” Joshua said in his letter.

He attached to his letter a certification confirming his family’s residency in barangay Tejero and the voter’s registration of his parents.

He also attached a letter of support signed by his classmates who are also City Hall scholars.

Carbonilla is also looking for a job to sustain his Development Communication studies at the Cebu Technological University (CTU) where he is on his second year.

Thanks to Osmeña’s PDAF, Carbonilla only had to pay a little over P1,000 in tuition last semester.

That changed quickly when the Supreme Court ruled that the PDAF as unconstitutional.

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“Though I may find a job, I guess it won’t cover the fees charged by my school and I may not meet the deadline,” Carbonilla said.

He said he hoped that the PDAF sponsored scholarships would last until he graduated from college.

Carbonilla’s father works as a draftsman in an export company in Mandaue while his mother stays at home. His older sister doesn’t have a stable job.

Due to the low export demand, Carbonilla’s father only works three days a week from Wednesday to Friday and earns a little more than P1,000 in a week.

“My mother has diabetes and my father’s salary mostly goes to her medications,” he said

While dismayed over the loss of his scholarship funding, Carbonilla said he understood the SC ruling

“Not receiving the scholarship anymore is a small sacrifice if it means that politicians will not run for public office anymore so they can use the PDAF,” he said.

Prof. Phoebe Sanchez, who teaches political sociology at the University of the Philippines-Cebu (UP-Cebu), said the Supreme Court ruling is a step in the right direction as far as releasing funds for government programs is concerned.

“It is not a committee or a legislator who allocates the funds and choose the project) but the executive branch. It’s clear in the Constitution but the separation of powers was muddled due to the pork barrel,” Sanchez said.

UP Cebu Student Council Vice Chairperson April Dyan Gumanao said the ruling shouldn’t stop on the PDAF.

“We must make sure that the people behind it should be made accountable and prosecuted to give justice to the people,” she said. Correspondents Jose Santino S. Bunachita and Apple Ta-as

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TAGS: Cebu City, News, PDAF, Scholar, scholarship program
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