MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Budget and Management has already released the priority development assistance funds (PDAF) of minority lawmakers, a Palace spokeswoman said Friday.
Deputy presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte said the PDAF of Representatives Dato and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay and Toby Tiangco were released. She said the policy of the administration is "walang maiiwan."
Records from the DBM show that the P70 million PDAF of House Minority Floor Leader Rep. Danilo Suarez for 2011 has been fully released. The same holds true for former Minority Leader Rep. Edcel Lagman, Rep. Ma. Amelita Villarosa, and Rep. Arthur Yap.
"We have no bias towards or against any member of the House of Representatives, whether members of the majority or the minority. The administration has the welfare of their constituents in mind," Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad said in a statement.
Abad said congressmen who are members of the Liberal Party did not get a preferential treatment with regard to the release of their PDAFs.
“We make sure that all requests by the district representatives undergo the same stringent evaluation procedure, as mandated by the administration’s thrust on good governance and accountability. Foremost in our considerations is the welfare of their constituents, the beneficiaries of their projects,” he said.
The DBM chief said lead House prosecutor Rep. Niel Tupas has not had his full PDAF allocation released, having received only P53.7 million for 2011.
Other examples include Quezon Province Rep. Irvin Alcala, whose Special Allotment Release Orders charged his PDAF allocation – dated 14 April, 28 April, 17 May, 30 June, 1 August and 29 December – totalled only P38.7 million. Bohol Rep. Rene Relampagos received P46.8 million, which is only 66% of his total PDAF allocation for 2011.
Rep. Rosendo Labadlabad of Zamboanga del Norte, on the other hand, has yet to receive the full P70 million allocation for his district. With a report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News