MANILA - President Aquino doesn't seem inclined to let go of the President’s Social Fund (PSF), one of the alleged presidential pork barrel funds now being eyed for abolition by groups seeking to abolish the pork barrel system through people’s initiative.
President Aquino’s spokesman Edwin Lacierda defended the chief executive’s use of the lump-sum fund from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR).
“As any initiative, it will have go through, comply with the requisites of the initiative and referendum law. But if you’re specifically referring to the President’s Social Fund, the President has been very--how do you say it--careful in using the President’s Social Fund. So...but, again, that is an initiative that they would like to pursue. It’s a free country. Just comply with the initiative and referendum law. But insofar as our administration is concerned, the President’s Social Fund has been used prudently and judiciously.”
The PSF has traditionally been used for medical and livelihood assistance.
DTI ON THE JOB
Meantime, Lacierda gave his assurances that government is keeping an eye on the increase of prices, which now includes other commodities like milk.
”‘Yung DTI [Department of Trade and Industry] po ay nandiyan po to monitor the prices and also to monitor the--how do you call that--the...‘Yung…Number one, may suggested retail price tayo. Pangalawa, they monitor also the...Hindi, ‘yung… In the market? ‘Yung... Supply—sorry—the supply in the market to see whether the supply is...If there is a genuine supply issue or is there a genuine issue with respect to the rise of imports--prices of imports... So tinitingnan lahat po ‘yan ng DTI before we make any action to that.
"No, we are not hands-off, that’s why DTI is there. DTI is there in charge of monitoring those prices, in monitoring the supply.”