Press Release
August 22, 2013


Senator Chiz Escudero has formally asked the senate to abolish the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) by filing Senate Resolution No. 193 (PSR No.193) today.

Escudero, chairman of the senate committee on finance is coming in from the heels of his resolution, PSR No. 41 asking the senate to probe the pork barrel scam when it first hit the public through a series of investigative reports on a major broadsheet. He was the first in the senate to make such call.

The senator's PSR 193 calls the Upper Chamber to "express its sense to abolish the PDAF and its allied congressional initiative allocation collectively known as "pork barrel".

"The people have spoken and it is necessary to draw the line further between public accountability and patronage politics by being truthful to the constitutional allocation of powers and prerogatives" Escudero said in the resolution.

The PDAF, whose pre-cursor is the Countrywide Development Fund (CDF) established in 1990, is supposed to fund the needs of every Filipino on a priority basis as identified by the national government.

"Now, it has already mutated into a multi-billion racket allegedly perpetrated by syndicates in both the public and private sectors. Despite proper use and disbursement by well-meaning public officials and despite its statutory laudable purpose, the misconception that the pork barrel has become a form of "horse trading" and a major source of corruption in the government is apparently starting to become real in the eyes of the Filipino people". Escudero said with the Commission on Audit (COA) confirming the gravity and extent of the pork barrel abuse and the strong calls of the people to scrap the source of the public outrage, it is now time to totally scrap the pork barrel.

"The pdaf should now be abolished in general". He says Congress should limit itself to the enactment of the national budget and the Executive to its implementation.

As this developed, Escudero throws his support to the anti-pork barrel protest on August 26, saying everyone is equally responsible to guard the public coffers. But while he supports the move, he will stay away from the event so as not to politicize it. "That is the people's event; it's their voices that must be heard. I will always carry their voice to the senate.I am hoping that no one will take advantage of it and paint it with their political color because frankly, I don't think the people will allow it".

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