The Priority Development Assistance Fund or PDAF also known as “Pork barrel” is a discretionary fund allocated for the purpose of providing projects which will promote the development of the different districts of the country. It is released through the General Appropriations Act (GAA) of the congress which will serve as the National Budget of the Government. The amount allocated for PDAF in the fiscal year 2013 totaled for 24.7 billion pesos with each member of the House of Representatives receiving 70 million pesos and members of the Senate with 200 million each.
This fund traces its roots from the Countrywide Development Fund of the Administration of Pres. Corazon Aquino. During the Ramos Administration, it is said that the funds were used by the President to sustain his control in the congress. The result of this was the growing criticisms against the release of such funds. When President Joseph Estrada stepped-up as the president, he promised the abolishment of this funds. To show their sincerity, the congress abolished the CDF but was virtually revived with the name of Priority Development Assistance Fund.1 This year, the public was outraged by the discovery of the 10 Billion Pork Barrel scam which was allegedly done through the initiative of Mrs. Janet Lim-Napoles. This crime exposed by Benhur Luy was described by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago as the “Crime of the Millennium”. B. Stand:
As an advocate of progress, I am not in favor for the abolition of PDAF or Pork barrel. Considering its legality, the existence of this fund is undisputable because the Supreme Court, the highest court of the land, already ruled in favor for the existence of this fund. That was held in the Case of LAMP vs. DBM, and following the principle of Stare Decisis, we should follow the decision of the court which already adjudged the matter at hand. Furthermore, many citizens, especially the indigent and the people from poor provinces and municipalities are benefiting from such fund. Moreover, the abolishment of this fund would disintegrate the projects
needed by the people. C. Recommendation:
In line with the Status Quo and the arguments I stated in my stand, I am recommending for the Non-abolishment of this funds. Furthermore, Guidelines for such funds are already provided in the constitution2 and the Department of Budget and Management3. Moreover, strict implementation of such guidelines is needed to guarantee the safeguard of this fund from corruption.