MANILA – In response to the Senate inquiry into the alleged misuse of PHP 10-billion priority development assistance fund (PDAF), Senator Teofisto Guingona III has filed a bill institutionalizing strict accreditation of non-government organizations (NGOs) and People’s Organizations (POs) before giving access to government funds.
“Owing to the serious allegations of massive misappropriation of the PDAF which was accomplished purportedly through certain NGOs, it is imperative that a law should be passed that would immediately require all government agencies releasing funds to NGOs and POs, to authenticate these entities,” Sen. Guingona said.
Under Senate Bill 2375, Guingona proposes that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will serve as the accreditation body of the government to screen and monitor NGOs and POs that want to participate in government contracts.
”The validation process aims to ensure that these entities are legitimate, committed and competent enough to participate in the implementation of government programs using public funds,” he said.
With this mechanism, DSWD will determine whether or not those NGOs and POs would be given the “seal of good housekeeping,” that would allow them to transact with government.
One of the major highlights of the bill is the government audit of NGOs and POs which are recipients of government funds, in line with the principle that public funds granted to these entities retain their character as government funds.
“The passage of this bill will enhance transparency and accountability in the allocation and utilization of public funds by ensuring that only legitimate entities that have good reputations for integrity, established track records and proven contributions to the betterment of society, would be able to participate in government projects,” Guingona said.
Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr. have been charged with plunder and graft for allegedly receiving kickbacks from the PDAF they released to the bogus NGOs of businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.
The three senators, who are now detained at Camp Crame, were among the 38 individuals charged in the pork barrel scam.