DSWD Secretary Cabral takes hat off to solons
Quezon City (11 September) -- They debate over national issues. But when it comes to helping the poor, our legislators unite to extend assistance.
Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Esperanza I. Cabral lauded legislators, both from the majority and minority bloc, for their assistance to the needy through their Philippine Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) channeled to the Crisis Intervention Unit of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Secretary Cabral said, "This gesture of allocating proportionate amount from their (legislators) PDAF demonstrates sensitivity and responsiveness to their constituents' needs along basic social services."
Some 30 legislators have PDAF at DSWD for the first quarter of 2007. The congressmen with the biggest allocations are: former Congressman Robert Vincent Jaworski of Pasig City with P4.2 million, Oscar Malapitan, First District of Caloocan, with P1.624 million; Ma. Amelita Villarosa of Occidental Mindoro, with P1 million; and Florencio Gabriel Noel of An Waray party list with P1 million.
"For the first quarter of 2007, alone, more than 4,435 individuals were assisted by the DSWD's Crisis Intervention Unit (CIU) with funds coming from the PDAF allocation of the solons," Secretary Cabral disclosed. More than P10 million of the PDAF allocations were used to provide food subsidy, medical, transportation, livelihood, burial and educational expenses, employment, job application requirements, and assistance in house repair, among others.
In 2006, a total of P21.4 million was spent at the CIU. The amount came from the PDAF of 47 congressmen.
PDAF, formerly Countrywide Development Fund (CDF) and is now commonly called "pork barrel," is the budget appropriated for and disbursed by Congressmen and Senators as their direct assistance to their constituents. The budget is channeled through agencies that are mandated to undertake activities identified by the legislators. Other activities funded by PDAF are feeding and health programs, or infrastructure, Day Care Center services and relief assistance.
"I encourage other legislators to also allocate portion of their PDAF for continued development and access to services of needy Filipinos to national agencies like the DSWD," Secretary Cabral further said. (DSWD) [top]