5 agencies in pork scam to be abolished: Philippines

5 agencies in pork scam to be abolished: Philippines
President Aquino.

Malacañang is moving to abolish Philippine Forest Corp., the agro-forestry arm of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and one of the many spigots that fake NGOs used to access pork barrel funds, according to Environment Secretary Ramon Paje.

The environment secretary said Philforest president Erwin Krishna N. Santos had been suspended indefinitely while the DENR was investigating the questionable deals the company had entered into with the bogus NGOs and members of Congress.

"Some of the Philforest's functions might go to the Bureau of Forest Management. The immediate goal is to stop the source of pork leaks," Paje said.

Paje said President Aquino had asked the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel to study the abolition not only of Philforest but also of National Agribusiness Corp. (Nabcor) and Zamboanga del Norte College Rubber Estates Corp. (ZREC) of the Department of Agriculture; Technology Resources Center (TRC) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST); and, National Livelihood Development Corp. (NLDC) of Land Bank of the Philippines.

Paje said the President was "extremely disappointed" with how the pork barrel scam continued into his administration, specifically the release of P428.5 million (S$12.3 million) in Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), the official name of pork barrel or funds that finance pet projects of lawmakers, through the five state companies.

The P428.5-million PDAF, which came from two senators (Gregorio Honasan II and Manuel Lapid) and 24 members of the House of Representatives, was released from October 2010 to December 2011 to nine NGOs with dubious records.

The fake NGOs were Focus on Development Goals Foundation Inc. (FDGFI), Interactive Training Opportunity on Needs Alleviation Movements Inc., Kapuso't Kapamilya Foundation Inc. (KKFI), Livedures Foundation Inc., Maharlikang Lipi Foundation Inc., Philippine Environment and Ecological Development Corp., Pangkabuhayan Foundation Inc. (PFI), Kabuhayan at Kalusugan Alay sa Masa Inc. and Workphil Foundation Inc. (WFI)

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