Press Release
August 28, 2013


The Blue Ribbon Committee, on its first day of hearing on the alleged misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), said that it will subpoena documents that would serve as proof that some legislators endorsed certain non-government organizations (NGOs) for the fund allocation.

"We are trying to trace where in the process of releasing the PDAF does the opportunity to divert the fund comes in. The chain of procedures in the release of the PDAF is implemented to ensure accountability. We learned today that there are instances where key procedures where bypassed to ensure that specific NGOs be the beneficiary of the PDAF. We must determine whether this action is illegal. It may be irregular, but we must determine whether the law was violated," Senator Teofisto "TG" Guingona III said, who chairs the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.

During the discussion, the Commission on Audit said there is no existing law that allows transfer of public funds to NGOs.

Sen. Guingona pointed out in a flow chart that the legislators should submit to the Department of Budget and Management their recommendation of allotment of PDAF. The DBM must then submit a Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) to a government implementing agency. The implementing agency must then submit the project for bidding.

It was bared in the proceedings that certain legislators would issue endorsement letters directly to the implementing agencies, ordering the respective agency to allot funds to specific NGOs.

"We are just hitting the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. We need to find the flaws in the system and find appropriate measures to end misuse of public funds," Sen. Guingona added.

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