PNoy defends use of own 'pork'

by Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 28 2013 01:09 PM | Updated as of Aug 29 2013 09:30 AM

MANILA - President Benigno Aquino III defended his use of the President's Social Fund (PSF), instructing the Presidential Management Staff to release details of how it is being used since he took office.

The PSF has been labeled by critics as the President's version of the pork barrel.

"Napansin ba n'yong walang nagsabi na may misuse ang President's Social Fund? Pero pinapatanggal. Hindi maintindihan ano ang logic noon," Aquino told reporters.

Aquino said the PSF is the source of financial assistance for families of wounded or killed police and military personnel, as well as medical assistance for those in need.

Aquino said he has been careful in using the PSF.

"I-authorize natin. Ipapalabas ko sa PMS saan ba ginastos over the three years that I have served as President at gaano na kalaki ang pondo dahil napakasinop, napaka-maingat nating gastusin 'yan," he said.

Aquino said there is also transparency in the use of the Malampaya funds, adding that these have been allocated for energy-related projects such as the sitio electrification program, acquisition of Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard assets to protect the country's energy resources, and addressing the power shortage in Mindanao.

"Napakahigpit ko na i-insist na 'pag Malampaya, dapat 'yung energy or energy-related purposes ang paggagamitan ng pondong 'yan," he said.

Aquino again thumbed down the call to itemize such funds like the calamity fund, saying it is difficult to do so.

"Paano mo ia-itemize 'yung calamity fund bago dumating 'yung calamity fund? Meron ka dapat talagang standby na pondo diyan pantugon doon sa pagdating ng sakuna na hindi naman natin syempre pwede ma-predict," he said.