Pdaf Must Be Abolish

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Date Submitted: 10/12/2013 11:20 PM

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MANILA, Philippines – The minority bloc in the House of Representative had reason to call it a "ghost resolution" – indeed, it doesn't exist.

The supposed resolution to abolish the P25.2-billion pork barrel from the 2014 budget that House leaders initially said was being circulated for congressmen's signature was not a resolution after all.

It is only a "statement of support" for the abolition of the controversial funds, Speaker Feliciano "Sonny" Belmonte Jr finally said on Wednesday, September 4.

It was the first time Belmonte spoke after the Monday caucus of House leaders, where they agreed to scrap the P25.2-billion Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of senators and congressmen but didn't give details on where the lump sum would go.

Belmonte told reporters Wednesday that leaders of each political party in the House are still consulting their members on what they want to do with the PDAF. The Speaker hopes to finish consultations by next week.

At present, the amount is still included in the proposed 2014 General Appropriations Act. Once the majority musters the support needed, Belmonte said, the "statement of support" could eventually become a letter or a resolution that will be submitted to the committee on appropriations, which is still in process of conducting hearings on the 2014 budget.

The committee will then remove the P25.2-billion lump sum allocation for the PDAF and realign it to national government agencies, which will still be identified.

Belmonte said those who attended the Monday meeting included:

Majority Leader Neptali...