P136 million in PDAF unused by kidney hospital
MANILA, Philippines – There's P135.87 million that has remained untouched for years at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) since the Supreme Court declared as unconstitutional legislator's Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
The Commission on Audit's (COA) 2016 report revealed that the fund is unutilized "due to lack of guidelines" after the court's decision.
The audit report said the funds from the controversial pork barrel fund known as the PDAF were released through the Bureau of Treasury.
In the past, the arrangement was indigent patients requesting assistance for their hospital expenses at NKTI must present a guarantee letter from concerned legislators. NKTI would then charge the amount needed against the legislator's PDAF.
But with the 2013 Supreme Court ruling declaring PDAF as unconstitutional, NKTI opted not to touch the funds anymore.
The table below gives a breakdown of the number of legislators – past and present – whose PDAF funds "became dormant":
|No. of legislators||Amount|
|Funds of legislators still in public service||67||P23,465,509|
|Funds of legislators no longer in public service||198||P112,399,757|
*From COA 2016 audit report on NKTI
"As of reporting date, the Institute did not request an authorization from the [Department of Budget and Management] for the continuous utilization of the PDAF funds of legislators to benefit indigent patients,” the COA said in the report.
As for the PDAF funds of legislators who are no longer in public service, COA said these funds remained dormant since they cannot be utilized without a guarantee letter from the legislators.
COA recommended for NKTI to seek guidance from the DBM and other concerned government agencies regarding the proper utilization of its unexpended funds, including the dormant PDAF accounts. – Jee Y. Geronimo/Rappler.com