Lapid defends pork barrel spending

Manila, Philippines --- Sen. Manuel "Lito" Lapid yesterday said the Commission on Audit (COA) is the government agency that should determine whether or not the disposition of his P20-million Priority Development Assistance Program (PDAF), known as "pork barrel," followed government auditing rules.

Lapid issued the statement after a news story came out questioning the use of his PDAF for the purchase of anti-dengue inoculants for distribution in a town where no case of dengue was reported.

In a press statement, Lapid said the allocation of his PDAF to identified local government units (LGUs) is regular and in accordance with the rules prescribed by existing laws and regulations.

He was reacting to reports that P5 million of his PDAF was used to purchase anti-dengue inoculants for Polillo town in Quezon province in 2011, although there was no case of dengue reported in the area.

Lapid said that it is the recipient agency that undertakes the procurement process which is governed by existing accounting and auditing rules of the government.