Why Fuentebella’s Partido Development Administration got the axe. The administration is cleaning up the mess of the past. Or, so it seems.
Recently, Malacañang abolished a Bicol-based Government Owned or Controlled Corporation (GOCC) created during the administration of former president Fidel V. Ramos.
The Partido Development Administration (PDA) was snapped of its corporate life with the issuance of Palace Memo Circular 29 last September 25, 2018 by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.
The PDA was created in November 18, 1994 by Republic Act 7820 and later amended by RA 8989 on December 31, 2000.
The PDA was aimed at paving the acceleration for economic development of the fourth district of Camarines Sur province which specifically covers the ten towns of Tigaon, Sangay, Goa, San Jose, Lagonoy, Presentacion, Garcitorena, Caramoan, Tinambac and Siruma.
The Tigaon-based agency was a total disappointment. The palace memo pointed out that “despite the operation of the PDA ….. the 4th district has the highest poverty incidence level compared to other districts of the province and has a higher poverty incidence compared to the average for the entire Bicol region.” The PDA has been in existence for almost 24 years.
Secretary Medialdea highlighted the fact that the PDA and its operating units have been consistently operating at a loss for years, which required subsidy from the national government.
The PDA operation was a bone of contention between the Camarines Sur provincial government and the local leaders of the district.
Much earlier on September 2017, the members of Camarines Sur Sanggunian Panlalawigan passed a resolution exhorting the national government for the abolition of the PDA. The resolution cited the agency’s failure to serve its lawful purpose.
The Sanggunian resolution stated that “when this GOCC was created, the author of its originating House Bill was himself designated as a member of the Board. While the same author was in office, he caused the amendments to the PDA Charter which became embodied in Republic Act No. 8989. These amendments caused the removal of the development and planning coordinator of the Province of Camarines Sur from the PDA Board.”
It added that “previously, Section 10 of the PDA Charter provided that the provincial governor of Camarines Sur may recommend the administrator to be appointed by the Board. Again, this was deleted (by the amendment) to remove checks and balances essential to the transparent operation of the government corporation.”
“It now appears that the PDA was created to further political ends rather than to serve its constituents,” it continued. “Almost twenty-three years later, we have come to realize that the creation of the PDA was an exercise in futility, resulting merely in the duplication of functions already properly vested by the Local Government Code to other offices,” the Saggunian resolution said.
Prior to this, six out of ten municipal mayors in the district also signed a resolution urging the abolition of the PDA.
Third district congressman Arnulfo P. Fuentebella was the main proponent of House Bill No. 11526 which came to pass as the RA 7820. (Ed’s Note: With the division of the 1st district of Camarines Sur in two, the old third district was reconstituted as the new 4th district)