Press Release
October 23, 2013

Transcript of Ambush Interview of Senate President Franklin M Drilon
After Today's Session

SP: By November 11, each senator will submit his final position. The Committee on Finance will present the committee report reflecting individual views on the PDAF and the committee report will be presented to the committee at noon time of November 18.

Q: Pero, sir, not everybody is in favor of deleting...

SP: In general, there were many senators in favor of abolishing. There were a number of views like can we do what we did for the 2013 balance and put it in the calamity fund. So, then, it is different from the House because we just give it up for the calamity. Nobody designates any project. So, that is among the issues. Again, each senator will submit his proposal on his particular P200 million and then we will see what kind of consensus we arrive at. That will be reflected in the committee report which will be crafted and submitted to the committee as it should be on November 18 so that we can calendar it for sponsorship on November 18.

Q: Sir, what was tabled today was the resolution totally scrapping...

SP: There was no resolution table. It was a free discussion of what to do.

Q: So, as of today, there's no consensus yet in the sense that each senator is asked to submit his individual...

SP: Yes, in that sense. In another sense, I could sense that majority just want to scrap it.

Q: But sir, if you have the majority sense, why not act on it now?

SP: Well, because some of the senators are not around again. I did not count but there are a number of senators who are not around.

Q: So sir, what will happen to your resolution?

SP: We will see what happens after all the written positions are submitted. As I said, while there was no vote, my assessment is that a majority of the senators would just want it scrapped but out of respect to the others who are not around, we just deferred the final decision.

Q: Sir, technically, pwede na po nating sabihin na wala na kayong PDAF na pinag-uusapan for 2014?

SP: As I said, the decision will be reflected in the final budget approved by the Senate. Hindi ba? So the committee report will reflect the majority.

Q: Sir, pati po iyong written manifestations isasama?

SP: Just a letter so it's on record.

Q: How would you describe the resistance...

SP: From a personal assessment, there appears to be no resistance in scrapping the PDAF. As I said, that is an assessment. Our agreement is finally submit our written positions to the Committee on Finance which will consolidate all of this and reflect it in the committee report.

Q: Sir, kailan po ang deadline?

SP: November 11 and the committee report will be routed for signatures at a caucus on November 18 just before the session.

Q: Sir, kaya po kayo hindi kayo nakapag-decide kanina kasi maraming wala? SP: I have a general sense. The general sense is delete the PDAF. Since a number of Senators were not around, to settle this, let us submit our individual positions. Let's say the sense of the caucus, I can say that the sense of the caucus is abolish.

Q: Is there a necessity to approve a solution?

SP: Because the decision of the Senate will be reflected in the committee report.

Q: There is no need to approve?

SP: may or may not. I am not discounting anything.

Q: Is it possible for some to retain their PDAF allocation but realign to line agencies?

SP: To the calamity fund for example it's possible. If one senator says, I want to realign my 200 to education or health, that is possible.

Q: More likely, options na yan available?

SP: Open but as I said my sense is that it will go the way of abolition but I cannot say until the Committee on Finance would be able to gather this.

Q: Yung discretionary power wala na?

SP: Wala na yung discretionary power. Mawawala na yun. That one is a certainty.

Q: Lahat agree yung mga senators dun?

SP: Yes. Walang discretionary power.

On abolition of PDAF instead of realignment

SP: If we go by abolition, there will be no realignment. As I described to you earlier, the national expenditure program will be reduced to that extent.

Q: Some senators also want the PDAF to be placed in different agencies

SP: Well, there were some who said 'why don't we put it in the calamity fund as what we did now?' These are all views that were freely discussed.

Q: So ang final decision ay pag nagresume ang session?

SP: When the Committee on Finance report is finalized. It will be finalized with the inputs of the different senators which will be in writing on November 11.

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