Press Release
August 21, 2013

Nancy supports PNoy's suspension of PDAF releases
...says more reason to push for FOI bill to ensure gov't transparency

Sen. Nancy S. Binay said that she fully supports the Aquino administration's decision to suspend the release of Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) in the light of the multi-billion peso scam allegedly involving lawmakers.

"I fully support PNoy's decision to suspend PDAF as long as it's not selective at dapat lahat...pati na yung mga kaalyado ng administrasyon. Malaking bagay rin na maipasa na kaagad ang FOI bill to help ensure transparency in government," the lady senator said.

Binay said she won't be using her PDAF until safeguards are in place to shield it from misuse and abuse.

The senator likewise welcomed the move of the Majority bloc not to accept PDAF for now, but noted that the call came "too little, too late" since the President has already suspended any release of funds until the investigation on the reported misuse is done.

"Nonetheless, we agree with the basis of suspension and we in the Minority bloc welcome the President's announcement," the senator said.

According to Binay, with the suspension of the PDAF, Malacanang should ensure the continuous delivery of basic services to the public such as medical and hospitalization assistance, infrastructure development.

The senator said that one of the reasons why people still ask legislators for assistance like medicines, hospitalization and other local concerns because key agencies of government fail to provide the public of basic services.

"Maganda naman po ang PDAF kasi natutulungan namin yung hindi naaabot ng tulong ng gobyerno, pero sana ayusin ang sistema para hindi ito maabuso," Binay said.

The lady senator also scored the Commission on Audit (COA) on the numerous lapses and errors in its audited reports.

"Bakit napakaraming mali ng COA sa kanilang findings. Ano ba ang sistema nila ng pag-audit sa local at national level? Errors and lapses in audited reports are simply unacceptable," she stressed.

She also scored COA for taking years to finally come out with audit results and the apparent lack of action from the audit findings.

"Bakit inaabot ng ilang taon ang findings nila sa mga anomalous transaction na ito? And what where the actions made to these COA reports about their findings submitted to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and Malacanang since 10 years ago?" asked Binay, noting that the COA should likewise investigate other hidden allocations given to lawmakers outside PDAF.

She added that had the previous Congress passed the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill, excuses in the PDAF spending would have been avoided. "We would also be able to dig up information prior to and after 2009," she added.

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