Senator Bam Aquino expressed support behind a Senate resolution urging Malacañang to declare unused Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) for 2013 as savings and to use it for relief and rehabilitation of areas devastated by several calamities.
The Senate on Tuesday passed Resolution No. 14, formally abandoning their PDAF for 2013, thereby creating savings which the government can use as calamity fund.
Aquino, one of the first to suspend the use of the PDAF of his office, said that the unused PDAF could augment the government’s depleting calamity fund, which now stands at P1.37 billion.
“Right now, the government needs all the help it can get. This resolution is the Senate’s way of doing its share to help ease the public’s burden,” Aquino added.
“With the government already neck-deep in problems regarding calamities, the remaining unused PDAF, which amounts to more or less P3.18 billion, could go a long way to help the victims of the earthquake in Bohol and Cebu and recent typhoons Labuyo and Santi,” Sen. Aquino said.
Aquino earlier had called for the creation of a P15-billion calamity fund to support rehabilitation of areas that were heavily damaged by the magnitude-7.2 earthquake that hit Central Visayas on October 15. Later, Malacanang announced that it would earmark P20 billion for rehabilitation.
“I laud Malacanang’s efforts to set aside the necessary funds for the rehabilitation and repair of the affected areas. In any case, calamity funds are a better place for the people’s money than the PDAF,” Sen. Aquino stressed.
Aside from the recent earthquake, several areas in the country had been devastated by typhoons “Labuyo” and “Santi” in recent weeks, while Zamboanga City was left in tatters after an assault by a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).