Leni gets flak on P64-M port project

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    ANGELES CITY- A fisherfolk movement accused yesterday vice presidential and 3rd District Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo of anomalies in the use of P64 million allocation from the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) before it was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

    In 2012, a total of P78.6 million of DAP funds were coursed through the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority (PFDA) for the proposed Calabanga municipal fish port which has yet to be constructed in Robredo’s district.

    “It is peculiar that the port has remained non-existent despite its P64 million funding which included P14 million for its maintenance and repair,” said a statement issued by Salvador France, vice chairperson of the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya).

    He noted that “Robredo was the proponent of the municipal fish port in Calabanga, the lone fishing municipality of the 3rd District of Camarines Sur. It was given an allocation of P50 million in 2012 by the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) and P78.6 million by the PFDA, both funds derived from the unconstitutional DAP.” France recalled PFDA was able to release only P64 million for the fish port before the Supreme Court declared DAP unconstitutional.

    “Out of the P78.6 million, P64 million was released for the Calabanga municipal fish port to cover P50 million for the construction of the port and a 5-toner ice plant and P14 million is for the repair and improvement of breakwater,” France said.

    He cited a report from the Commission on Audit (COA) indicating that “although a significant part of the DAP funds went to PFDA for Calabanga fish port alone, the project has yet to be finished and no report on the allocated budget has ever been made.”

    Meanwhile, Pamalakaya quoted Calabanga Mayor Eduardo Severino as saying that concrete roads already built within the supposed port area have already developed cracks, indicating they are substandard.

    “The PFDA and Robredo should be held accountable for this. Also, officials of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) should be held accountable for the billions of pesos misused and unspent funds that are supposedly for the welfare of poor fishers,” France said.

    He was referring to BFAR’s unobligated fund that reached to P9.3B covering the year 2011- 2014 amid the poverty of small fisherfolk nationwide.

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