By JUAN ESCANDOR JR
NABUA, CamSur: Some 2,000 students-beneficiaries here initiated a reverse move to ask President Aquino to retain the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) contrary to the anti-pork protest actions held in several parts of the country.
Franchette Ruelle S. Obrero, fourth year student, defended the PDAF of Camarines Sur fifth district Rep. Salvio Fortuno, saying that the educational assistance they have received from their congressman sustained them to stay in school.
Obrero, eldest among six siblings of farming parents, said she is recipient of P3,000 every semester like the 3,500 other student-beneficiaries who are in school because of the financial assistance that help ease the burden of their poor parents.
Syra B Menias, third year college student, said she is worried that if PDAF will be abolished that will keep her out of school.
In their petition, the student-beneficiaries ask President Aquino not to scrap the PDAF “because it helps the constituents in the form of educational, medical, livelihood, and infrastructure assistance.”
Ariel Royobe, staff of Fortuno, said that when the students learned about the announcement of Mr. Aquino regarding the pork barrel they immediately trooped to their district office to ask them what to do.
Royobe said the students asked them to prepare the petition which they started signing on Aug. 26.
He said that until now the Commission on Higher Education has not received yet any new guideline or instruction on the fate of the educational assistance being extended to students under the PDAF.
Royobe disclosed that Cong. Fortuno’s district office allots this semester P10.5 million and at least P20 million every year of the P30 million budget allotted for the district’s so-called soft projects. – Bicol Mail