THE KNOW: Priority Development Assistance Fund
The Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) is a discretionary fund that allowed senators and congressmen to allot funds for their pet projects after the enactment of the budget law.
It was controversial because the PDAF, a lump-sum budgetary item and a pork barrel, had been a source of kickbacks of lawmakers.
Yearly, a senator is entitled to P200 million in PDAF and a member of the House of Representatives, P70 million.
The Supreme Court nullified the PDAF in November 2013 after the P10-billion pork barrel fund scam was uncovered.
In a landmark decision of a vote of 14-0-1, the high court declared unconstitutional past and present congressional pork barrel laws as it ordered the criminal prosecution of individuals who had benefited from the schemes over the past two decades. This led to the filing of graft, corruption and plunder cases against the alleged pork scam mastermind, Janet Lim-Napoles, and several lawmakers.
In July, during the preparation of the budget for 2017, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said lawmakers were authorized to endorse and fund projects up to worth P80 million. He said the funds should not be considered pork barrel because these are line-item budget, adding that the Duterte administration’s first budget proposal was consistent with the Supreme Court ruling that struck down the PDAF as unconstitutional.
Diokno said the appropriation was different from the graft-laden pork barrel because the lawmakers would be required to submit lists of projects ahead of the enactment of the General Appropriations Act by Congress.
Source: Inquirer Archives
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