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Press Statement Arenas Sept2PRESS STATEMENT
 of former REP. MA. RACHEL J. ARENAS September 1, 2013

Press Statement Arenas Sept2PRESS STATEMENT
 of former REP. MA. RACHEL J. ARENAS September 1, 2013

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Published by pribhor2
 of former REP. MA. RACHEL J. ARENAS
September 1, 2013
 of former REP. MA. RACHEL J. ARENAS
September 1, 2013

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Published by: pribhor2 on Sep 02, 2013
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PRESS STATEMENT of former REP. MA. RACHEL J. ARENASSeptember 1, 2013Reference: Ida EvangelistaMedia Relations Officer of Rep. Rachel ArenasContact no.: 09188274466Just the other day, a news report entitled “Pangasinan Pork reaches Manila”appeared in one of the leading dailies. This article is malicious, bereft of pertinentfacts and information and intended to malign my reputation in the guise of a simplenews story.While the story stated verifiable information about the usage of my Priority Assistance Development Fund (PDAF), the report failed to mention the reason whypart of my allocation was used in several projects in the 5th District of Manila,Compostela Valley and Abra. Unknown to many, it is a common practice amonglawmakers to exchange or trade funds allocated for soft projects -- fertilizers, seeds,medicines, medical kits, dentures, training materials, sponsorship of sports leagues,scholarships and the like -- for hard projects such as infrastructure. There arelawmakers who prefer soft projects, while others, like myself, prefer hard projectswhich were then more beneficial for my district, and aimed to hasten developmentand and uplift the living conditions of my constituents. A thorough review of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) website willshow that the P10 million which I allocated for several projects in the 5th District of Manila was replaced by its representative, Amado Bagatsing with two infrastructureprojects of the same value in Malasiqui. In Abra, Lone District Rep. Ma. JocelynBernos funded a P5-million dredging project in Santa Barbara in 2012 in return for the P5 million that I allocated for different road rehabilitation projects in her province.In 2013, I allocated P10 million from my PDAF for several projects in the 1st Districtof Compostela Valley, which was matched by Rep. Ma. Carmen Zamora with thesame amount of infrastructure projects in San Carlos and Malasiqui. This year,another P10 million has been allotted for the 5th District of Manila, which I expect tobe matched by Rep. Bagatsing before the year ends.The swapping PDAF allocation is just one of the means by which big districts, suchas ours, are able to maximize the limited PDAF allocation. This allocation isgenerally the same for all districts regardless of the size. During my term, I saw to itthat every transaction involving my PDAF was transparent and used solely to benefitmy constituents. We all share the need to work towards unprecedented transparencyin government service, in our eagerness to make this a full reality, I also urgeconcerned agencies to take greater responsibility in publishing their reports andsomehow ensure that the “facts” presented are not taken out of context but alsoreflect the truth behind their reports. This issue of trading allocations, for instance,should have been taken into account and possibly an addendum to the reportinstead of encouraging speculation or insinuations that could be very damaging to anindividual especially public servants. I therefore strongly urge the development of a

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