Press Release
October 22, 2013

Senators formally give up 2013 PDAF;
 pass resolution urging PNoy to augment calamity fund

In an effort to help victims of calamity-stricken areas, the Senate has decided to abandon the remaining Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allotted to senators for 2013.

On Tuesday, the Senate passed a resolution which urges the President to use the savings which will be created by the senators' abandonment of their PDAF allocation to augment the calamity fund in order for the government to respond effectively to the needs of the victims of various calamities that hit the country recently.

"We adopted Senate Resolution No. 14 wherein the senators have waived and abandoned their PDAF for 2013. With that abandonment of their PDAF entitlement, it has created savings which the President may use as calamity fund for areas affected by the typhoons 'Labuyo' and 'Santi,' by the earthquake in Visayas, and the man-made disaster in Zamboanga," stressed Drilon, primary author of said resolution.

"We urged the President to use these savings to support ongoing recovery activities for victims of these disasters," he added.

"We have to respond and assist the government in disaster relief, speedy post-disaster recovery, reconstruction, and rehabilitation of provinces affected by these recent calamities that hit our country," said Drilon.

"These disasters have brought pain and suffering to our people, disrupted the functioning communities, caused mass casualties, damaged cultural heritage, and caused widespread human, material, economic and environmental losses," the Senate Chief added.

Drilon said the realignment of the PDAF is authorized under the Constitution, specifically Section 25 (5) of Article VI of the 1987 Constitution.

The President may, by law, be authorized to augment any item in the General Appropriations Act from savings in any other items in the executive department, he noted.

He likewise cited Section 52 of the 2013 GAA authorizing the President to use savings to augment actual deficiencies incurred for the current year in any item of his appropriation.

The Office of the President declared that only P1.37 billion of the P7.5 billion calamity fund remains, it added.

According the Department of Budget and Management website, the unreleased PDAF for senators for 2013 amounts to P3.18 billion.

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