P11.3-M PDAF for PUP scholars unused after a decade
MANILA, Philippines – Since 2002, senators and congressmen have been alloting their pork barrel for scholars at the state-run Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) – except that, there were barely any students who benefitted from it.
The Commission of Audit (COA) found that lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) amounting to P11.3 million has been left unused by PUP as of December 2012.
The university may be found liable for skirting the government rule that PDAF unused after two years should be returned to the National Treasury.
The COA report, released on October 2, said a measly P30,406.50 of the multi-million-peso scholarship fund was spent in 2012, “resulting in the deprivation of PDAF scholarship grants to the intended beneficiaries.”
The remainder of the fund is being kept in a special account.
After signing agreements with the state-run school, senators and congressmen often simply forgot to submit their list of scholars, leaving PUP with no choice but to shelve the funds, COA noted.
“The audit team was informed by the staff of the Office of Scholarship and Financial Assistance (OSFA) that not all legislators submit the list of scholars. The lengthy screening and selection process and the late submission of the final list of beneficiaries by the office of the legislator caused considerable delay,” COA said.
PUP share the blame, however. The standard memorandum of agreement between legislators and PUP provides that the legislators select their scholars. In practice, however, half of the scholars were supposed to be chosen by PUP.
There were also instances where scholars failed to maintain the minimum grades and had to be replaced, further clogging up the system.
“The flaws in the procedure resulted in idle/unutilized PDAF balances of P7,697,752.52 in CY 2002 to 2010 carried forward to the current year which could have afforded free education to disadvantaged but deserving students,” the report said.
Still, PUP received an additional P3.6 million PDAF allocations in 2012.
Although unused PDAF sums were supposed to be remitted to the National Treasury after two years, the management of PUP went around this rule by transferring thefunds to its Fund 101 or “cash-local currency-current account.”
COA warned PUP that this practice was unlawful under Executive Order No. 338 (1996). The accumulated funds from 2002 to 2010, amounting to P7.7 million, have to be returned to the treasury.
Among lawmakers who donated to PUP were:
- Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr – P1,517.20
- Senator Alan Peter Cayetano – P250,000
- Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri – P504,400
- Speaker Jose deVenecia Jr – P2.764 million
- Representative Laarni Cayetano – P1 million
- Representative Liza Masa – P1 million
- Representative Sherwin Gatchalian – P512,165
- Representative Reynaldo Calalay – P290,050
- Representative Emerenciana de Jesus – P250,000
- Representative Harry Angping –P213,414
- Representative Teddy Casiño – P200,000
- Representative Victoria Reyes – P157,500
- Representative Carlo Oliver Diasnes – P149,241.52
- Representative Mark Jimenez – P130,042.80
- Representative Georgilou Yumol – P115,421
- Representative Enrique Garcia – P104,528
- Representative Ismael “Chuck” Mathay – P29,921
- Representative Ma. Amelia Villarosa – P25,000.