Baguilat Says PDAF Properly Utilized in Ifugao
VOL. XVIII NO. 4 (Nov 1-7, 2014)
LAGAWE, Ifugao – Congressman Teddy Baguilat, Jr. declared that the “pork barrel” funds given to Ifugao were properly utilized for the benefit of the people.
In his recent State of the District Address at the capitol here, Baguilat said that from his P70 million priority development fund (PDAF), P30M was appropriated for soft projects and P40M for hard projects or infrastructure projects.
From 2011 to 2013, the P30 million had been used for scholarships through the Ifugao State University (IFSU) or the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and P9.1M for PhilHealth coverage. Out of 3,500 students assisted, 250 have already graduated. 6,000 families were also sponsored under Philhealth.
For hard projects, Baguilat reported that he availed of two sources- the General Appropriations Act (GAA) and the PDAF.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) funds were used for national roads. P4B had been given to Ifugao from 2011 to 2014. Last year’s appropriation was P1.1B and P1.4 B this year.
Baguilat enumerated the following roads/projects funded and already implemented or being implemented namely the Banaue to Hungduan to Tinoc; A. Lista to Aguinaldo; and Banaue to Mayoyao.
Under tourism infrastructure development, the following tourism roads are also being improved/constructed: Ibulao to Kiangan to Tinoc; Batad Road; road to Nactoban Cave in Boliwong, and the road at Chumang in Mayoyao-all under the DPWH Budget.
Baguilat also assured that the improvement or paving of national roads will be continued and supported as committed by the President in his 2014 SONA.
Aside from national and provincial roads, the farm to market roads (FMRs) are also being attended in order to improve access to Ifugao products and tourism destinations. The FMRs which are now being implemented by the DPWH include the P25M Bilong-Nagacadan to Maggok FMR; P25M Tupaya-Olilicon; P45M Asipulo-Ambaguio. Ten other FMRs are scheduled in 2015.
According to Baguilat, the priority now is the construction of new irrigation systems, not mere rehabilitation projects, in order to encourage the increase of hectarage for rice production. The bulk of the NIA funding for irrigations goes to Lamut, Alfonso Lista and Aguinaldo which have more areas for rice cultivation.
“The Lamut-Hapid irrigation is now fully functional. The major project in 2015 is the Sto. Domingo-San Juan irrigation system in Eastern Alfonso Lista which will irrigate at least 2,300 hectares. P46M was appropriated in 2013 for said project. This year, P70M has been earmarked for a pump,” he said.
Baguilat explained that the purpose of the PDAF was to enable even small districts/provinces to have a share in the projects funds.
There were cases however that the PDAF was abused or misused . The PDAF and the Disbursement Acceleration Program were recently declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
Baguilat stressed that even without the PDAF and the DAP, he can still avail of funds for projects to accelerate the development of Ifugao./JDP/MBL, PIA CAR, Ifugao with reports from Happitan staff