The online news portal of TV5
Two sons of ex-President Arroyo and two of her allies at the House of Representatives have failed to receive their priority development assistance fund (PDAF), also known as pork barrel, since 2010.
But since they are only four--compared to the 281 members of the House of Representatives who got their funds--this is considered good news as far as Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. is concerned.
"At least hindi wholesale as the norm in this chamber before. Masama pa ba ang 99 percent batting average?" he said in a news conference.
As deliberations of the proposed 2013 budget begin in the House Wednesday, Belmonte quelled complaints of some lawmakers from the minority bloc, who did not get a single centavo of their PDAF since 2010.
They were Representative Mitos Magsaysay of Zambales, Diosdado "Dato" Arroyo of Camarines Sur, Juan Miguel "Mikey" Arroyo of Ang Galing Pinoy, and Augusto Syjuco of Iloilo.
“We are 285 congressmen of all hues and color. How many did not get their PDAF? Rest assured that somehow, their PDAF has been passed on to their constituents,” he said.
In the same news conference, Cavite Representative Joseph Emilio Abaya, chairman of the appropriations committee, announced that budget deliberations at the committee level will start Wednesday and will take the entire month. Plenary debates are scheduled September.
Abaya said they hope to transmit the proposed P2-trillion budget to the Senate by October, in time for its signing by the President on December 30.