Press Release
August 19, 2013

Poe to file resolution urging Senate to examine unlawful use of NGOs

Sen. Grace Poe will file a resolution tomorrow (August 20) urging the Senate to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation into the "regulation and use of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in questionable government transactions" identified recently by the Commission on Audit (COA).

"It is the poorest of the poor who feel the brunt of this breach of public trust. The PDAF belongs to the people, especially the most marginalized members of our society. As the people's representatives in government, we must put an end to the squandering of public funds in our country," Poe said.

"Ang isa pa, nais ko na makaharap ang mga tunay na biktima tulad ng mga magsasaka at mangingisda na hindi naman nabigyan ng tulong, bagkus ginamit na, ninakawan pa. Tutukan natin kung magkano ang kinupit, pero dapat alamin din natin gaano kadami ang nawalan ng benepisyo at nagdusa," the chair of the Senate committee on public information and mass media added.

In her resolution, Poe emphasized, "The corruption has become humongous that the amounts are no longer just in the millions but in the tens of billions of pesos and has become complex that NGOs and peoples' organizations are utilized to masquerade illegal activities."

COA bared that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) funneled P6.156 billion in the form of Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to questionable NGOs from 2007 to 2009. Its report stated: (1) Billions of pesos in pork barrel funds were anomalously disbursed and misused from 2007 to 2009; (2) most of the NGOs utilized were managed or owned by the same persons; and (3) the list of beneficiaries were falsified, manufactured, and names were unfairly used and simply taken from the list of board and bar passers.

Poe said: "The stories of misuse and mismanagement of government funds are happening at the time that hunger and poverty in the country are at a significant high. The latest survey indicated that 4.9 million families are experiencing hunger."

"The misuse and mismanagement of funds were committed to the detriment of countless Filipino farmers, fisherfolk, agrarian reform beneficiaries, victims of calamities and other marginalized sectors," Poe's resolution further stated.

At the same time, the resolution acknowledged the honest efforts of the Aquino administration to clean up the bureaucracy and promote transparency and accountability.

Poe stressed, "This resolution will be submitted to condemn the wanton mismanagement of public funds, and at the same time, seek that justice be eventually served."

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