Mimaropa gets P35.5M from Escudero ‘pork’

English: Political map of MIMAROPA Region, Phi...
Mimaropa region. Image via Wikipedia

QUEZON CITY, Philippines—All municipalities in the Mimaropa region each received P500,000 from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) for 2011 of Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero.

Some P35.5 million was allotted to the 71 towns from the provinces of Marinduque, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Palawan and Romblon for the improvement of their public markets, the senator said in a press release.

Escudero likewise shared part of his PDAF, also known as “pork barrel”, to Regions III (Central Luzon), XI (Davao Region) and IX (Zamboanga Peninsula).

Central Luzon got the biggest share among the regions, receiving a total of P43.5 million for various projects in 87 municipalities from the provinces of Bataan, Nueva Ecija and Tarlac.

Nearly P136 million, or about 68 percent, of the senator’s P200 million PDAF, was distributed equally to over 200 towns across the country for the improvement of their public markets.

This was the first time Escudero was able to provide funds under PDAF to help various municipalities. He promised to farm out his allocation to other local government units to finance their projects this year.

“Under the administration of former President Arroyo, I was an opposition and the PDAF allotted to me was never released. So as a senator, I cannot give anything to any of the towns, provinces or districts then. Now that my budget has been released, what I do is I give funds to every municipality for the improvement of their public markets,” he said.

In the spirit of transparency, Escudero detailed the distribution of his PDAF to the different regions to finance construction and repair of school buildings, improvement and rehabilitation of state universities, concreting and road repair, completion of multi-purpose center, rehabilitation of a municipal hall, improvement of peripheral canals, and construction of river control projects, among others.

“My PDAF is transparent, equally distributed and downloaded to local government units. We are trying to avoid issues of favoring the region or province where I belong or allegations of pocketing funds that are supposed to be for the people,” he also said.

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