The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) slammed Camarines Sur 3rd District Representative and Liberal Party (LP) Vice-President candidate Leni Robredo on the anomalous fish port construction in the province of Calabanga, Camarines Sur.
Rep. Leni Robredo is the proponent of the Municipal Fish Port in Calabanga, the lone fishing municipality of the 3rd district of Camarines Sur. It has been given an allocation of P50M in 2012 by the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) and P78M by the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority (PFDA), both of which came from the unconstitutional Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
From September 7, 2012 to March 26, 2014, the PFDA has been allocated P275M from the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). But the PFDA has only used P78, 615, 270 or the budget’s 27% before the Supreme Court (SC) declared the unconstitutionality of DAP.
Out of the P78M, P64M has been released to Calabanga Municipal Fish Port (P50M for the construction of the port and a 5-toner ice plant; while the P14M is for the repair and improvement of breakwater).
“There is something fishy on this fish port. It is peculiar that the project was given P14M for its ‘maintenance and repair’ when in fact, the project has not even started yet.” Salvador France, Pamalakaya vice-chairperson said in a statement.
The Commission on Audit (COA) said that although the project got only the 23.3% of the total DAP, almost half of it that was released to PFDA went to Calabanga fish port alone. But until now, the project has not been finished yet and no report on the allocated budget has ever been made.
Meanwhile, Calabanga Mayor Eduardo Severino said that the fish port is substandard, and actually saw cracks in the pavements, when asked in a press conference.
“We fear that this anomalous DAP project might spent for Robredo’s campaign kitty. Moreover, we are outraged that the impoverished conditions of the fisherfolk are being treated as a milking cow orientation for the unscrupulous government officials to implement projects that are actually no better to the fishers.” France said.
Pamalakaya said that the PFDA, Rep. Leni Robredo together with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) should be held accountable for the billions of pesos misused and unspent fund that are supposedly for addressing the welfare of the pauperized fishers.
The fisherfolk group is seeking probe on BFAR’s unobligated fund that reached to P9.3B covering the year 2011-2014.
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