Friday, September 6, 2013

For the record: On the President’s Social Fund and the Special Purpose Funds

From the Website of GPH - Government of the Philippines

For the record: On the President’s Social Fund and the Special Purpose Funds

Published: September 5, 2013. Latest update: September 5, 2013.

This is to clarify the story titled “Palace: PNoy funds different from PDAF,” printed on the front page of the Philippine Star on September 3, 2013. Under the subhead “PSF not from taxpayers,” reporter Delon Porcalla wrote:
To say that PSF is a “discretionary fund” of Aquino is quite unfair, (Deputy Presidential Spokesperson) Valte maintained, noting that the itemization of needed funding has been laid out in the Special Purpose Funds, or the umbrella categorization where calamity funds and the like are included.
A case in point was Typhoon Pablo that pounded Mindanao in late 2012, where funds needed for the rehabilitation of several provinces in the region reached about P11 billion that were drawn from the PSF.
“By the very nature of some of these funds, that’s unprogrammed, unforeseen,” she said. “And these funds are audited, are subject to audit of the COA.”
The transcript of Undersecretary Valte’s interview on Tuesday, August 27, will show for the record that the funds utilized for the purpose to rehabilitating and rebuilding areas stricken by Typhoon Pablo were sourced from the Special Purpose Fund (SPF) and not from the President’s Social Fund (PSF).
Q: But Professor Liling Briones is saying that this PDAF is part of the P310-billion special purpose fund by the President. So ‘pag inalis ‘yung P25-billion na binibigay sa mga lawmakers, may natitira pa raw na P285-billion within the President na ‘yung up for distribution upon his discretion kung saan niya [ilalagay]. So anong purpose po ‘non, Ma’am? Kasi sabi nila this is the bigger pork na ‘yon ‘yung gusto nila na buwagin din.
USEC. VALTE: Siguro ‘yung—kung pwede nating i-explain—‘yung special purpose fund po kasi, again, the name is self-explanatory. Pero, magbigay tayo ng example, nandiyan ‘yung contingency fund, nandiyan ‘yung calamity fund, nandiyan ‘yung… That’s a type of a special purpose fund at alam naman din po nila ito, si Mrs. Briones, being a former National Treasurer.
Ito ho ‘yung mga halimbawa ‘nung mga bagay na napapailalim doon sa special purpose funds and there funds really, by their nature, hindi mo nga maa-itemize. Kasi ang mangyayari diyan, kapag in-itemize mo tapos merong unforeseen event na dumating na hindi natin prinogram (program) doon sa pondong ‘yon, hindi natin siya magagamit because you can actually be liable for malversation that way.
I think nabanggit din ito ng Pangulo noong Biyernes. Binigay niya ‘yung halimbawa doon sa calamity fund na kung itemize natin ‘yan, na nag-anticipate tayo for 20 na bagyo na darating sa taon na ito, kung lumampas po tayo hindi na natin ‘yung pera doon for the 20—for the 21st that comes in. So, by the very nature of some of these funds, it is obviously something to draw out of in times of need.
I-ano ko lang, ano, ‘yung sa typhoon ‘Pablo’. Kung maaalala natin, ‘yung estimated na kailangan natin to rebuild those areas nasa P11-billion. So ‘yon, unprogrammed din po ‘yon, unforeseen, and kailangan meron ho tayong pagkukunan ‘nung mga ganitong pondo.
And also, if I can point out, these funds are audited—are subject to audit of the Commission on Audit. Isa pa, makikita po natin, it’s… You know, to call it completely discretionary is a little bit too general, kasi nilalagay naman po syempre kung ano ‘yung mga pwede mong paggamitan ‘nung mga special purpose funds na ito.
In previous Press Briefings, Usec. Valte made categorical distinctions between the two funds. The SPF is used to finance various unprogrammed costs, such as calamities and contingencies, rebuilding and rehabilitation initiatives, and personnel retirement gratuities. The PSF, meanwhile, is an off-budget item that is, by virtue of certain laws, sourced separately from tax revenue streams. It funds scholarship and educational assistance to students of fallen soldiers and medical expenses of uniformed personnel who were wounded in action, among other priority projects. Remittances from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) fund the PSF.
Click to read pertinent official transcripts of the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson.

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