Actor, TV host, and senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III declared that his decision is final: he will no longer use his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) for the rest his term until it ends in 2016.
“My decision is intended to forestall any further controversy that may arise in the use of the PDAF, particularly that it is a vehicle for corruption and that it is used to fund ghost projects,” Sotto announced in his privilege speech at the Senate.
About two weeks ago, Sotto informed the media that he is planning to get rid of his own pork barrel funds in support of the Filipinos’ call for the abolition of the pork barrel system, which has cost the Filipino taxpayer billions of hard-earned Pesos.
“I have no problem with the abolition of the PDAF,” Sotto said in a text message to reporters roughly two weeks ago.
As for what’s left of his 2013 pork barrel, Sotto said he will submit P50 million to the Senate for the allocation of regional and specialty hospitals. He will also grant P50 million to the University of the Philippines (UP) system and other state universities as assistance for students who cannot afford to pay for their education.
“So that no student may think of suicide for lack of funds to take an exam,” said Sotto, in relation to the death of UP Manila student Kristel Tejada, who allegedly took her own life due to financial constraints that caused the said institution to put her of a “forced leave of absence.”
With reports from Maila Ager and Jun Desca