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Abad explains special purpose funds, asks critics not to muddle situation


udget Secretary Florencio Abad appealed to those claiming to be experts on the budget to help the people understand how government money is spent and not muddle the issue of disbursements. “Ang pakiusap natin sa mga kababayan natin, lalong-lalo na ‘yung sinasabing sila raw ay dalubhasa sa budget, tulungan naman nating bigyan ng paliwanag ang ating mamamayan, at huwag naman natin silang bigyan ng paliwanag na hindi naman makakapagmulat sa kanila,” Abad said in a radio interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday. “Magulo na nga ang sitwasyon, guguluhin pa natin, samantalang, puwede naman nating paliwanagan ang ating mga kababayan.” Some critics said that while

there’s a call to abolish the discretionary funds, they have been asking why the presidential pork has to be retained. Abad said that there are people who are confusing the public to put the President in bad light regarding the pork barrel issue. He explained that there must be lump sums or special purpose funds so that the government could immediately act, and would have the money, during emergency situations. A m o n g these funds include the calamity fund for typhoon victims, the contingency fund for overseas Filipino workers affected by unrest abroad, and money for emergency response by the police and the military.

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Another special purpose funds are pension funds, the internal revenue allotment (IRA) of LGUs, and debt servicing, he said. It is not practical for the executive branch to go to Congress during an emergency situation to get the appropriate budget that’s why special funds are created in the budget. Another contentious issue is the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund, he said. Some critics said it’s a President’s pork barrel, but Abad said it is not because it has a specific part in the national budget. This money is transferred to departments when there is a need to be filled, he said. President Aquino called on Friday for the abolition of PDAF amid allegations of misuse of some P10 billion public funds through releases to bogus non-government organizations (NGOs). He directed Abad to consult with Congress regarding the removal of the PDAF and the crafting of a new system. PDAF, established in 1990, was intended to bring development to every part of the country by giving congressmen allocations regardless of their political affiliations.

Michell Grace M. Chua Lurilyn M. Malbacias Rosemarie B. Patindol 1. Lorelie M. Ortega 2. Janet A. Mara Esterlita C. Dadios

DILG holds SK confab


he Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) 10 gathered on August 22, stakeholders to a Regional Public Consultation on the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) held at the Tourism hall, this city. Participated in by Sangguniang Kabataan leaders, representatives from youth organizations/ associations, schools/colleges/ universities, local government units, non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, political leaders, and the general public, the activity is designed to

address the issues raised by some sectors regarding the effectiveness of SK in promoting youth leadership and engagement, said Atty. Rene K, Burdeos, DILG-10 Regional Director. The activity is aimed at eliciting region-specific views and generate broadlybased consensus on categorical support or nonsupport to either reform or abolition of the Sangguniang Kabataan, said Atty. Burdeos. Hence, he added as a consequence, whether or not to push through with the SK elections in October 2013. (EOR/Alexander M. Miego/DILG/PIA10)

DSWD-NCR provides assistance to 38,959 families affected by “Maring”


he Department of Social Welfare and Development in the National Capital Region (DSWD– NCR) has extended relief assistance to some 38,959 families affected by the south monsoon and Typhoon Maring. “A total of 354 evacuation centers were opened since August 18, 2013 in 17 Local Government Units (LGUs) in Metro Manila to accommodate families affected by the massive flooding,” DSWDNCR Regional Director Alice Bonoan said.


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“The affected families who fled their flooded homes were provided with family food packs, mattresses, blankets and mosquito nets,” Bonoan added. Included in the number are the 2,630 families or 13,150 individuals who were served outside the evacuation centers, according to Bonoan. The DSWD– NCR Disaster Response Teams is on 24–hour duty monitoring the situation during the calamity and giving assistance to evacuees. The team ensured the availability of manpower and food packs (cont. to page 3)

(cont. from page 2) Pantawid Pamilya City Links and Community Organizers were also mobilized to conduct monitoring and assist the LGUs in managing the evacuation centers. DSWD-NCR staffs were also deployed at the MMDA Flood Control Information Center to monitor the flooding situation. Bonoan said that the total cost of assistance provided by the Agency to assist Typhoon Maring victims in NCR amounts to P2,914,190. (RJB/LFB/DSWD-NCR/PIA-NCR)


President Aquino spells out safeguards in budgetary releases to avoid corruption


resident Benigno S. Aquino III has laid out the safeguards in budgetary releases for projects to prevent corruption amid the pork barrel scam allegations. In his statement delivered in Malacanang on Friday, the Chief Executive said his administration will create a new mechanism “to address the needs of constituents and sectors, in a manner that is transparent, methodical, and rational, and not susceptible to abuse or corruption.” The President underscored the need to issue the safeguards to ensure that public funds will be used for the benefit of the people, and

“Adcomsubordcomphibspac” is the longest acronym. It is a Navy term standing for Administrative Command, Amphibious Forces, Pacific Fleet Subordinate Command. “Dreamt” is the only English word that ends in the letters “mt”. “Forty” is the only number which has its letters in alphabetical order. “One” is the only number with its letters in reverse alphabetical order. “Happy Birthday” was the first song to be performed in outer space, sung by the Apollo IX not for the benefit of a few greedy individuals. astronauts on March 8, 1969. “We will continue the practice of requiring that projects to be funded come from “One thousand” contains a specific menu of qualified projects,” the Presithe letter A, but none of the dent said. words from one to nine hun- “They cannot include consumable soft dred ninety-nine has an A. projects, such as fertilizers, seeds, medicines, medical kits, dentures, funding for sports fests, “Ma is as selfless as I am” can be training materials, and other such items—these read the same way backwards. projects of which the results and impact we If you take away all the spaces cannot conclusively identify, and which may you can see that all the letters only be ghost projects, used only as a source of can be spelled out both ways. income by the corrupt,” he added. “They cannot be temporary infrastrucThe lunula is the half- ture, and neither can they be dredging, desilting, moon shaped pale area at the bottom of finger nails.

regravelling, or asphalt-overlay projects,” he said. The President said the funds cannot be disbursed to non-government organizations (NGOs) and certain Government-owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs,) such as ZNAC Rubber Estate Corporation and National Agribusiness Corporation. “Both of these GOCCs will be abolished, along with others of their kind that have become notorious for anomalies, and which seem to serve no other purpose aside from being instruments of corruption,” the President said. The funds must be limited to the district or sector of the legislator who sponsored it, he noted. The President said all items will be subject to open and competitive bidding, with all bid notices and awards posted in the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System or PhilGEPS. “So that the public may monitor the implementation themselves, we will make sure that each item will be disclosed in the DBM and related agency websites and the National Data Portal of the government,” he said. Senate President Franklin Drilon expressed support for the abolition of the pork barrel, while Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago filed a resolution for the three-year phaseout of the congressional pork. Several other senators expressed support for the abolition of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). Senators Francis Escudero and Alan Peter Cayetano earlier filed separate resolutions seeking the scrapping of the PDAF. Other senators who expressed support for PDAF’s scrapping are Ralph Recto, Gregorio Honasan, Teofisto Guingona III, Aquilino Pimentel III, Loren Legarda, Grace Poe, Juan Edgardo Angara, Ramon Revilla Jr. and Benigno Aquino IV, all members of the majority bloc. Members of the minority who supported the idea of scrapping the PDAF included Vicente Sotto III and Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito. (PCOO)

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Caritas Manila releases P6M funds for typhoon, flood victims


he Caritas Manila has released some P6 million soaps, detergents, toothpaste etc.) and 200 sacks of funds for relief aid to typhoon and flood victims. clothes were distributed to parishes heavily affected According to the Catholic Bishops Conference of by the typhoon and floods caused by monsoon rains. the Philippines (CBCP), The relief pack contains rice, Caritas Manila through canned goods, biscuits, instant their volunteers distribnoodles, coffee and mineral water. uted emergency relief Caritas Damayan is the Disaspacks to some 16,000 ter Risk Reduction and Management families in Metro Manila Program of Caritas Manila. Quickand in the provinces of Response Emergency Relief is one of Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, the major tasks of Caritas Damayan. Bulacan and Bataan. Hundreds of families were af The relief packs, fected by the typhoon and the montogether with 200 boxsoon rains that flooded several cities es of medicines, hyin Manila and municipalities in Luzon. giene bags (containing

DTI warns public on use of unsafe copper-coated aluminum wires


he Department of Trade and Industry warned the public against buying cheap but hazardous copper-lad aluminum wires (CCA) as alternative to pure copper wires for wiring applications. Director Peter Mangabat of DTIPangasinan said copper-coated wires appear like ordinary electrical wires and are being sold in hardware stores as cheaper replacements for pure copper wires. He urged the public to be wary in purchasing this kind of wires that are used for electrical requirements at home, in schools and offices. Based on studies, CCA wires have low “ampacity� compared to pure copper wire. Ampacity is the allowable current capacity of a conductor measured in amperes.


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The materials used in CCA wires are brittle and weak, can easily break and cannot withstand normal flexing and twists compared to genuine pure copper wires. It is also subject to corrosion due to the absence of dual rated (Cu/A1) switches connectors and convenience outlets, according to the DTI statement. In a recent DTI market monitoring, together with the Philippine Product Safety and Quality Foundation (PPSQF), eight electrical supply retailers in the province were caught selling CCA wires during enforcement operations. Mangabat advised retailers to comply with the provisions of the Standards Law (Republic Act 4109) to avoid possible sanctions and confiscations.

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