P12M in pork unused in Iloilo City–COA | Inquirer News
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P12M in pork unused in Iloilo City–COA

/ 10:00 AM September 30, 2014

ILOILO CITY—Even as defenders of the pork barrel insist on the necessity of the controversial legislators’ fund, the Commission on Audit (COA) found that the city government failed to implement projects bankrolled by the Priority

Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) amounting to P12 million.

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Almost all of taxpayer money meant for development projects and financial and livelihood assistance was “neither implemented nor obligated and… has not been returned,” according to the annual audit on the accounts and operations of the city government.

The Supreme Court ruled the PDAF as illegal in a decision on

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Nov. 19, 2013. The ruling provided that all unutilized PDAF be reverted to the government’s general fund.

A total of P12,364,245 was released to the city government from February 2006 to January 2013, according to the COA report transmitted to the city government on Sept. 15. The money came from the PDAF of eight legislators and a partylist group, and was intended to fund various projects to be implemented by the city government.

But the COA said the projects had not been implemented as of Dec. 31, 2013, thus depriving services to city residents.

On May 26, the city government deposited a check amounting to P800,000 to the account of the Bureau of the Treasury to cover the unused PDAF of Sen. Loren Legarda, according to the COA report.

Legarda had allotted P500,000 for the repair of the graduate school building of the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV) and another P300,000 for documentation of the culture of the indigenous people’s group Panay-Bukidnon, which was supposed to be undertaken by UPV.

UPV Chancellor Rommel Espinosa told the Inquirer that the repair of the building was not implemented because there were no bidders based on the available budget.

The other unused PDAF included P5 million from Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago for priority development projects, P3 million from Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya for development projects, P1 million from Sen. Kiko Pangilinan for a livelihood program and P1 million from Sen. Teofisto Guingona III for financial assistance to poor families.

Also unused were P514,245 from Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV for the assistance of Technical Institute of Iloilo City, P500,000 from Barangay (village) Association for National Advancement and Transparency party-list for priority programs and projects, P300,000 from then Kasangga Rep. Teodorico Haresco Jr. for financial assistance to trainees of Western Visayas College of Science and Technology and P250,000 from Association of Laborers and Employees party-list Rep. Catalina Bagasina for food and transportation assistance for indigents of North Fundidor and South San Jose.

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TAGS: Commission On Audit, News, Priority Development Assistance Fund, Regions
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