Senate President Franklin Drilon on Friday urged the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to assure that the 2015 national budget would be free of pork or anything resembling the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
“The Senate will exercise the strictest examination of the 2015 national budget to make certain that no revival of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) in any form or calling will occur,” Drilon, former chairman of the Senate committee on finance, said in statement.
The DBM is drafting the 2015 national expenditure program, the basis of the national budget, which will be approved by Congress.
According to the Senate President, the PDAF should be altogether avoided in the 2015 budget.
“The Supreme Court ruling is clear about when congressional involvement with the budget should end. Therefore anything related to the PDAF in the 2015 national budget should be avoided,” Drilon said.
Last year, the Supreme Court declared the congressional PDAF as unconstitutional after President Aquino scrapped the graft-tainted budget from Congress.
Pressure was also added when the PDAF scam broke out even as groups mounted a huge gathering to rally against the fund.
To avoid this, Drilon suggested the fund be channeled directly to social services such as massive backing for public hospitals, free public education in higher levels, poverty alleviation program, and assistance to the agricultural sector.
He also urged the public to be vigilant of the budget processing.