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PDAF

PDAF

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Published by Ma Ann Elumbaring
pdaf report
pdaf report

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Published by: Ma Ann Elumbaring on Jul 09, 2014
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07/09/2014

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The
Priority Development Assistance Fund scam
, also called the
PDAF scam
 or the
pork barrel scam
, is a political scandal involving the alleged misuse by several members of the Congress of the Philippinesof their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF, popularly called "pork barrel", a lump!sum discretionary fund granted to each member of Congress for spending on priority development proects of the Philippine government, mostly on the local level# The scam $as first e%posed in the
 on &uly ', )'*,
 $ith the si%!part e%pos- of the
Inquirer 
 onthe scam pointing to business$oman &anet .im!/apoles as the scam0s mastermind after 1enhur 2# .uy, her second cousin and former personal assistant, $as rescued by agents of the /ational 1ureau of 3nvestigation on 4arch , )'*, four months after he $as detained by /apoles at her unitat the Pacific Pla5a To$ers in Fort 1onifacio#
 3nitially centering on /apoles0 involvement in the ))6 Fertili5er Fund scam, the government investigation on .uy0s testimony has since e%panded to cover /apoles0 involvement in a $ider scam involving the misuse of PDAF funds from ))* to )'*#3t is estimated that the Philippine government $as defrauded of some 
') billion in the course of thescam,
 having been diverted to /apoles, participating members of Congress and other government officials# Aside from the PDAF and the fertili5er fund maintained by the Department of Agriculture, around 7)) million in royalties earned from the
 4alampaya gas field $ere also lost to the scam#
 The scam has provoked public outrage, $ith calls being made on the 3nternet for popular protests to demand the abolition of the PDAF,
 and the order for /apoles0 arrest sparking serious discussion online#
Background
 
 
T$o infographs on the PDAF produced by the Assembly, the Political 9cience :rgani5ation of the  Ateneo de 4anila ;niversity#
 
 Although the history of pork barrel!like discretionary funds in the Philippines dates back to '7,
 during the  American colonial period, the PDAF in its current form $as only established during the administration of Cora5on A=uino $ith the creation of the Country$ide Development Fund (CDF in '77)# >ith #* billion in initial funding, the CDF $as designed to allo$ legislators to fund small!
scale infrastructure or community proects $hich fell outside the scope of the national infrastructure program, $hich $as often restricted to large infrastructure items# The CDF $as later renamed the PDAF in ))), during the administration of &oseph ?strada#
9ince )), every member of the Bouse of epresentatives usually receives an annual PDAF allocation of @) million, $hile every senator receives an annual allocation of )) million#
 The President also benefits from a PDAF!like allocation, the President0s 9ocial Fund (P9F, $orth around' billion#
 Contrary to public belief, ho$ever, PDAF allocations are not actually released to members of Congress# ather, disbursements under the PDAF are coursed via implementing agencies of the Philippine government, and are limited to "soft" and "hard" proects the former largely referring to non!infrastructure proects (such as scholarships and financial assistance programs, although small infrastructure proects are also considered "soft" proects, and the latter referring to infrastructure proects $hich $ould be coursed via the Department of Public >orks and Bigh$ays#
1ecause presidential systems are often prone to political gridlock, the PDAF is often used as a means to generate maority legislative support for the programs of the e%ecutive#
 Furthermore, because PDAF allocations are released by the Department of 1udget and 4anagement (D14,
 
PDAF allocations are often dependent on the relationship a legislator has $ith the sitting President#
 For e%ample, during the latter years of theEloria 4acapagal!Arroyo administration, she $as more generous in allocating PDAF funds in the annual national budget in order to $in the favor of legislators#
 PDAF allocation has gradually increased over the years#
 For e%ample, before Arroyo stepped do$n, the last PDAF allocated $as for the year )') at ')#< billion, but $hen
the 1enigno A=uino 333administration passed its first budget for )'', the allocation more than doubled to 6#< billion#
The PDAF has proven to be very unpopular, $ith numerous calls for its abolition# 3n '77<, the
Philippine Daily Inquirer 
 published an e%pos- on systematic corruption in the CDF, $ith an anonymous congressman (since identified as omeo D# Canda5o of 4arikina elaborating ho$ legislators and other government officials earned from overpricing proects in order to receive large commissions# Public outrage over the misuse of the CDF $as instrumental in the enactment of reforms $hich led to the formation of the PDAF#
 The constitutionality of the PDAF has also been challenged in the 9upreme Court# 3n '776, the constitutionality of the CDF $as challenged by the Philippine Constitution Association, arguing that the CDF0s mechanisms encroach on the e%ecutive0spo$er of implementing the budget passed by the legislature, but the Court ruled the CDF constitutional under the legislative0s "po$er of the purse"#
 This ruling $as reaffirmed in ))', $henthe PDAF $as challenged again in the 9upreme Court#
 .egislators themselves are torn on the abolition of the PDAF, $ith some supporting total abolition, others supporting increased regulation to minimi5e abuse of PDAF disbursements, and others opposed to it#
Modus operandi
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