Celso hits critics over PDAF issue PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 05 December 2013 11:31

District 1 Rep. Celso Lobregat, yesterday twitted his critics, who are using the media to attack his recent public statement regarding congressmen’s helplessness in helping their constituents due to the scrapping of priority development assistance funds (PDAF).

“Are they begrudging me for telling the truth?” asked Lobregat, who told newly-elected and re-elected barangay officials during their mass oathtaking last Saturday that he and all other congressmen in the whole country have become inutile in helping their respective constituents, following Supreme Court’s recent decision, declaring PDAF as unconstitutional.

“In the aspect of district works such as legislations and attending sessions, committee hearings and meetings, we continue to serve effectively, but we become helpless in terms of extending our respective constituents the needed medical, educational and developmental assistance, like identifying projects, granting of scholarships, and providing medicines and hospitalization aid to our indigent constituents,” Lobregat explained.

Lobregat said in the past, when congressmen visited barangays in their districts, they could easily commit to barrio folks the implementation of urgent infrastructures like road gravelling, rip-rapping of river banks, slope protection, and construction of bridges, because through PDAF, identifying this type of projects was the lawmakers’ task.

The former three-term mayor, now district 1 House representative said that “when Zamboanga City was attacked last September 9, both its 2 districts were affected, when a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Bohol, all districts within said province fell economy-ill, when Typhoon Yolanda hit Samar and nearby provinces, all legislative districts within those provinces, practically, became severely helpless. But when PDAF was removed, the entire country became affected”.

Lobregat also rebutted critics, who claim that congressmen are supposed to confine themselves in legislations and leave the other governmental responsibilities to the executive department.

“There are already too many laws for us to legislate more. What the people in our districts ask from us when we go and visit them is to help them for their medicines, hospitalization, give them jobs or give their children scholarships”.

Lobregat forsees the removal of PDAF will make President Aquino more powerful because lawmakers will now unavoidably,line up in Malacañang to lobby for the inclusion of their districts’ projects, in the general appropriations act, which is being programmed yearly.

“With PDAF out of the picture, I cannot go to my district and make false promises to my constituents. I don’t regret having been frank about my helplessness to help them now, but I do regret for them, because I can no longer help them in terms of medical, development and other assistance, and I know that my critics will always find ways to make this an issue,”concluded Lobregat.— Philip Abuy