COA report reveals even more dubious pork projects

By , on September 15, 2014


Wikipedia Photo
Wikipedia Photo

MANILA, Philippines– The Commission on Audit (COA) has revealed more projects under the congressional Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) that were awarded and implemented without the proper bidding procedure, and were given to questionable non-government organizations (NGOs).

In its annual audit report, the COA disclosed that the transactions in question involved approximatelyP200 million in pork barrel funds of several lawmakers, party list representatives and allies of the Aquino administration that were coursed through the National Agriculture and Fisheries Council (NAFC) from 2012 to 2013.

Furthermore, the commission said that the funds were released without sufficient proof that the supposed livelihood projects involving vegetables and earthworms would be beneficial to the recipients.

According to the COA, the lawmakers who coursed the funds for their PDAF projects through the NAFC are:

• Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile (P45 million)
• A-Teacher Rep. Mariano Piamonte (P10 million)
• Kalinga Rep. Abigail Faye C. Ferriol (P12 million)
• A-Teacher Rep. Julieta R. Cortuna (P3 million)
• Cibac Rep. Sherwin Tugna (P2 million)
• An-Waray Rep. Neil Benedict Montejo (P5 million)
• Abamin Rep. Maximo Rodriguez (P5 million)
• Pangasinan Rep. Leopoldo N. Bataoil (P8 million)
• Cagayan Rep. Baby Aline Vargas-Alfonso (P11 million)
• Surigao Rep. Francisco T. Matugas (P9 million)
• Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo V. Umali (P4.4 million)
• Masbate Rep. Scott Davies Lanete (P15 million)
• Bukidnon Rep. Florencio Flores (P6 million)
• former Iglesia ni Cristo Alagad Rep. Rodante D. Marcoleta (P15 million)
• former Cebu Rep. Eduardo Gullas (P9 million)
• former Misamis Occidental Rep. Loreto Leo S. Ocampos (P10 million)
• former Lanao del Sur Rep. Mohammed Hussein Pangandaman (P30 million).

The COA said that “the PDAF allocations were transferred to NAFC (in 2012) on the basis of written requests made by the various legislators to the DA (Department of Agriculture) secretary purportedly to facilitate the implementation of their projects.”

Pinpointed as recipients were the Gabay at Pag-Asa ng Masa Foundation, Inc. (GPMFI); Maharlikang Lipi Foundation Inc. (MLFI); Kaupdanan para sa Mangunguma Foundation (an NGO of pork queen Janet Napoles); and Anak Bukid Producers Cooperative; NGOS that“were not among those identified in the GAA (General Appropriations Act) as implementing arms of the different PDAF projects,” the COA added.

“There was no bidding conducted in the selection of NGOs to implement livelihood projects but instead, negotiated procurement was resorted to. The chosen project implementers were the NGOs/cooperative recommended/endorsed by the legislators.

Verification disclosed that the PDAF allocations were transferred to the specified NGOs of the legislators based on their written request of the latter to NAFC,” the COA said.

The commission likewise pointed out that the NAFC could not properly explain how the particular NGOs were chosen as recipients of the funds.

“There was no proof that NAFC evaluated the viability and effectiveness of project proposals submitted by the NGOs. Factors such as the financial capability and availability of space or locations/place of dwellings that will affect the ability of the beneficiaries to sustain any livelihood project were not considered or included in the evaluation,” the COA said.