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MANILA – Senator Alan Peter Cayetano wants lawmakers’ discretion over their funds removed, effectively backing proposals to have the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) or pork barrel abolished.
Cayetano explained that instead of giving lawmakers lump sums and allowing them to decide how they would be spent, the specific projects should be identified in the budget as line items.
Cayetano said this would remove lawmakers’ discretion over their funds, a key feature of the PDAF.
“As defined, it (pork barrel) will be abolished,” he said at a press briefing on Friday. “You take out what makes this pork barrel.”
“I think there’s a way that the DBM (Department of Budget and Management) and the appropriations and finance committees can come out not only with stricter guidelines, but to put it in the budget,” added Cayetano.
The senator said that even without the lawmakers’ discretion and flexibility to fund their pet projects, there can still be assurance that their districts and constituents will get funding.
Some sectors and even lawmakers had called for the abolition of the pork barrel, after it was reported that billions of pesos from a number of senators’ and congressmen’s PDAF went to bogus organizations and ghost projects.
Cayetano said he will bring up his proposal once session begins.
“My sense is that this will be a continuing discussion in the first few weeks of Congress. It’s too big to ignore,” he said.

Read the original post: A simple solution to cutting pork barrel graft – ABS CBN News

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