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Eleksyon 2013

Comelec allows use of pork barrel days before polls

March 22, 2013 3:18pm

Tags: COMELEC
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has allowed lawmakers to use their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), or more commonly known as pork barrel, even during the 45-day election-related ban provided that certain conditions will be followed.

In Resolution 9660, promulgated March 22, the poll body said the projects, programs or activities funded by PDAF and will be implemented during the prohibited period of March 29 to May 13 should have been established before the said period and duly reported to the Commission on Audit.

It stressed that in no instance shall PDAF-funded projects “be used as an opportunity by any candidate, his or her spouse, family member within second civil degree of affinity or consanguinity, political parties, party-list organizations and their nominees to further they candidacy.”

Among those considered as acts of advancing one’s candidacy are personal appearance in the events, posting, exhibition or distribution of any form of election propaganda or material containing the candidate’s name, logos, initials, mottos, slogans, images and other representation attributable to them.

“Support for or endorsement of candidates, party-list organizations, and political parties shall not be made a condition for the entitlement of the benefits from PDAF,” the resolution read.

It further said that the candidates, their spouses or members of family are strictly prohibited from participating in the distribution of cash, goods, or merchandise for scholarships, assistance for burial, healthcare, calamity and other similar programs in connection with the PDAF project.

Each member of the House of Representatives is entitled to P70 million PDAF, of which P40 million should be allocated for infrastructure or hard projects and P30 million for soft projects.
The senators, on the other hand, have an allocation of P200 million each, of which P100 million should be for infrastructure and the other P100 million for soft projects.

In the same resolution, the Comelec designated its law department as the one responsible for evaluating requests for exemption from public works ban as stated in Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code.

Written requests submitted to the law department must be accompanied by the documentary requirements listed by the Comelec depending on the nature of the public works project which is the subject of the request.

The poll body earlier issued Resolution 9585, which states the rules and regulation governing ban on public works and release of funds during the 45-day period.

Under Resolution 9660, the director of the law department will be the one authorized to issue the Certificate of Exception should the request conform to the guidelines of Comelec. A P500 certification fee will be charged per request. Amita O. Legaspi/KBK, GMA News

Tags: COMELEC



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