Beng seeks clarification of COA report on PDAF PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 23 August 2013 13:44

Former House Deputy Speaker and now Mayor Beng Climaco said clarifications should be made on the Commission on Audit (COA) report pertaining to congressmen’s projects funded through the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), even as she expressed support to the special investigation undertaken by the auditing agency.

Climaco noticed inaccuracies in figures cited in the COA report [as published in the] for District 1’s PDAF allocation from 2007-2009 which totalled P117.54 million, which she said is significantly less than the supposed allocation of P175 million considering that the annual PDAF allocation is P70 million per House member.

When she assumed as District I Representative in 2007, she received P35M for the last 6 months of the year, P70 million for 2008 and P70M for 2009 totalling P175M for the two years and 6 months. “Si mira ustedes el P117M is still lacking compared to the P175M we received”.

“In my State of the City Report during my first term, I said my priorities were to perform my work in Congress and to deliver projects for the people. I was able to bring half a billion pesos in my first term and at the end of my second term, the amount became P2 billion”, Climaco said. “The allegation that I had an over allocation of P8M is not correct because we were able to bring more or less P2 billion worth of projects and programs. El cuestion, alcanse ba el Ciudad de Zamboanga? El maga gente ba nuay beneficia? Porque asta este maga tiempo, alcalde ya yo, ta puede pa  siempre resibi beneficio de social services el maga enfermo y aquellos maga ya muri.”

In addition to this, other agencies are about to receive allocations through Climaco’s PDAF for various projects and programs. These include the Department of Education for scholarships, feeding program for the children and other education-related projects and the Department of Interior and Local Government for the purchase of vehicles for the police among others.

The mayor also pointed out that in the COA audit report, bulk of the allocation is in the form of “Various Infrastructures including Local Projects” (“VILP”) which are infra projects carried out in the district represented by the concerned member of Congress, whose funding came from various sources and not necessarily from the PDAF allocation.

“In other words, it is possible for a congressional district to receive more funding for various local infra projects than the PDAF allocation of its representative since such funding may come from other sources as identified and approved by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM),” she stated stressing that in case a congressional district receives more funding for infra projects, it is the constituents of the district that benefit from such projects.

Thus, Climaco said, the question of having over-allocation of PDAF should be clarified and that figures should be correct and accurate. Officially, the former lady solon has yet to receive a copy of the COA audit report. “Given the fact that we have yet to receive a copy of the COA audit report, as well as due to time constraints and the voluminous records involved, my office cannot ascertain the veracity or accuracy of the details contained therein.”

Recall that the DBM has noted certain discrepancies and clerical errors in the COA report recently citing the case of former Representative Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora wherein the DBM admitted that the P3 billion PDAF attributed to him was actually a result of clerical error.

“In this regard, there is a need for us to coordinate with both COA and DBM, to reconcile our figures with their respective records to ensure that what is being published to the public are accurate and correct,” she added. (Issue on coursing projects through NGOs to be continued. — Sheila Covarrubias