Vice President Jejomar C. Binay funded through his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) the construction or repair of senior citizens’ centers, scholarships, health services and assistance to indigent or displaced families in calamity prone areas in 4th to 6th class municipalities.
Reporting on his accomplishments for the last two years as Vice President, Binay also said the Office of the Vice President (OVP) is set to sign memorandum of agreements with various national government agencies and local government units who will be recipients and implementors of his PDAF projects for 2012 to guarantee “greater transparency and accountability” in the use of the funds.
Congress provides P200 million in PDAF to the Office of the Vice President (OVP). This year, the DBM included the amount in the regular budget of the OVP.
The Vice President has already expanded the scholarship grant-in-aid program to poor but deserving students. Previously available only to students of State Colleges and Universities (SCUs), the scholarship grants are now also offered to students of select private schools.
The choice of projects and beneficiaries are consistent with the Vice President’s advocacies, and aligned with the national government’s budget priorities and the Ten-Point Legacy Agenda of President Benigno Aquino III.
These are AMA Computer University/ACLAC/ABE, St. Jude College & Medical Center, Manila Central University, Manila Business College and University of Batangas.
The OVP has also partnered with the Technical Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and local government units (LGUs) to provide technical non-formal education training.
In 2011, the Vice President signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and representatives of SCUs in the country to provide a P9,000-annual educational assistance to 10 scholars for each of the 109 SCUs nationwide.
“We will give priority to those who will be enrolling in agriculture, education, commerce (entrepreneurship), engineering, and information technology,” he said.
For School Year 2012-2013, the OVP earmarked P18 million from the first tranche of its PDAF to offer 2,200 scholarship grants to SCUs, including 20 slots for undergraduate students of the University of the Philippines (UP).
For SY2011-2012, 960 freshmen from SCUs and 30 from private institutions availed themselves of the program. The UP Diliman also listed two scholars from the School of Urban and Regional Planning, and five from the College of Law.
Meanwhile, P150 million or 75 percent of the 2011 PDAF was earmarked for the construction and repair of 300 senior citizen centers nationwide. For the first tranche of his 2012 PDAF, the OVP also set aside P50 million for the same purpose.
The centers serve as venues for assemblies, recreational and sports activities and medical missions for the elderly.
“Our elderly links us to our past and serves as our guide towards the future. We should thank them for their valuable contributions to our country,” Binay said.
Last year, the OVP earmarked P10 million to provide emergency and immediate relief assistance to indigent families affected by typhoons and other calamities.
Since becoming Vice President, Binay personally led relief operations in some areas, particularly in Bulacan after typhoon Pedring. He was also one of the first national official to provide assistance in Iligan and Cagayan de Oro, both of which were severely affected by typhoon Sendong.
For the first tranche of 2012, the OVP also allocated P10 million for relief operations as well as other social services, including the provision of school supplies and burial assistance.
The OVP also held medical missions in and provided medicines and medical equipment to 4th to 6th class municipalities in the country. P30 million was used for this purpose in 2011 and P12 million for the first tranche of 2012.