By: Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News
Posted at 08/27/2013 3:38 PM | Updated as of 08/27/2013 3:52 PM
MANILA – Malacañang rejected calls to abolish the President’s Social Fund (PSF) saying that it is being put to good use.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the PSF is the source of financial and educational assistance for families of slain soldiers, among others.
Valte also said it is a misnomer to call it as the president’s pork barrel, pointing out that the PSF is not funded by the General Appropriations Act (GAA).
“The amount varies kasi unlike other programs in the executive’s budget, hindipokasi ‘yan funded by the GAA or that’s not funded by internal revenue collections or nor customs duties. It’s essentially a trust fund. We don’t propose an amount for the Presidential Social Fund every year. That fund is supported and replenished by a percentage of the profits from PAGCOR [Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.] and if I’m not mistaken, may maliit din posa PCSO [Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office],” Valte said.
Valte said that unused funds could be rolled over to the next year, adding that it is nevertheless being audited by the GAA.
She echoed President Aquino’s response when asked about the proposal to abolish the special purpose fund (SPF) which includes the contingency and calamity funds.
Valte said that by its nature, it would be difficult to itemize such funds and that these should be available for unforeseen events such as calamities.
“By the very nature of some of these funds, it is obviously something to draw out of in times of need,” she said.