Press Release
November 11, 2013


In keeping with his stance against the continued implementation of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or 'pork barrel' funds of senators, Sen. Serge Osmeña is giving up his congressional allocation for 2013 and 2014, totalling to P400 million.

Osmeña has written Sen. Francis Escudero, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, on November 7, 2013 and said: "Please be informed that I am foregoing the Two Hundred Million Pesos (P200 million) Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocated to me as a member of the Senate for 2013. I am also foregoing my Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) for 2014."

Osmeña has yet to allocate his P200 million PDAF allocation for 2013.

Every member of the House of Representatives receives an annual PDAF allocation of ?70 million, while Senators get an annual allocation of ?200 million each.

Osmeña made the move days before the November 11 deadline for senators to submit their individual recommendations on the proposal to abolish the annual P200 million PDAF for members of the Senate.

Senators Escudero, Grace Poe, Aquilino Pimentel III, Vicente Sotto III, Loren Legarda and Senate President Franklin Drilon have also already recommended the deletion of their pork barrel under the proposed 2014 national budget. Pimentel has likewise given up his remaining P190 million PDAF for 2013.

The Supreme Court has issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against the release of the remaining PDAF of lawmakers in the 2013 national budget, in response to petitions filed by groups and individuals questioning its constitutionality.

The petitions came in the midst of a public uproar against the misuse of the congressional allocation following the expose on the alleged P10 billion 'pork barrel' scam involving several senators and congressmen and businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.

Osmeña has been steadfast in his position to abolish the pork barrel allocation of senators. When he first became a Senator during the 10th Congress, Osmeña already zealously pushed for the abolition of the Congressional Countrywide Development Fund (CDF), the predecessor of what is now popularly known as the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), or the 'pork barrel' funds.

During the plenary voting on the proposed 1997 national budget on December 16, 1996, Osmeña took the floor and said that "pork barrel is nothing but a blank check that is given to certain people for political purposes or to expand their political base.

He added: "Senators do not need CIAs (Congressional Initiative Allowances)... because we are not beholden to any small district or particular constituency. If the people judge us, they judge us as a whole on our performance in the Senate... What I am saying is that the perception of the public is that somehow may kalokohan ito. Since we don't need it, perhaps it would be good to eliminate it completely as a whole."

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