Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Letter From My Constituent and My Reply

I received a message in my Multiply site which came from a constituent who submitted a request for support from my office for their badminton tournament.

From Richard (a constituent):

Congressman Ruffy,

Good day congressman,we came to your office 3 times and asking for the support regarding the badminton tournament and are group are shock cause your secretary personnel said that you are not supporting this kind of events..and our participants is all residence of muntinlupa any way thank you even you are not supporting us and god bless.our tournament is finished with 400 particpants good luck.....

I immediately responded both to his email and in his Multiply site:

Dear Richard,

Thank you for the message you sent me regarding your request for assistance for your badminton tournament.

I hope that my staff was able to convey our policy in the manner that I instruct them to.

BUt in the interest of clarity, allow me to explain...

First of all, requests such as yours are not allowed to be charged against the Priority Development Assistance Fund (Pork Barrel) under the rules prescribed by the General Appropriations Act (the law which governs the funds of national government). YOu may view the rules at

As to the requests from our constituents which are not allowed to be charged to the PDAF (such as your request), we use the monthly operating expenses allocated to my office, which is not much, considering that it is only meant to fund the administrative needs of the office.

Due to the limited funds available for direct requests from constituents, we are compelled to classify and prioritize the requests granted. 

Therefore, we give emphasis and priority to social services (medical, educational and community development requests). Additionally, among the so many requests that are submitted to us, we also have to determine which one is urgent and which is not.

In view of those considerations, your request for assistance in your badminton tournament placed low in the list of requests which were considered, giving way to requests such as urgent medical care and medication, our medical missions, education-oriented requests such as teacher trainings, classroom equipment and teaching tools, repair of community facilities such as water systems, feeding programs, livelihood programs, and others.

It is with sincere apologies that we are not able to contribute to your badminton tournament. It is just that in determining who gets to benefit from the meager resources of my office, we are forced to give priority to the other programs because of urgency and necessity.

BUt once in a while, funds are available for requests like yours, so we are able to grant them.

If only I had the resources, I would rather approve all requests, but unfortunately, there is not enough to go around. As I told one federation of youth groups which requested my office for sponsorship of their summer outing, granting their request would mean that I will be turning down someone else's request for medicine or assistance in paying his hospital bills.

Such is the burden placed on the shoulders of public officials and it always requires us to make tough decisions and choices.

I hope that you and your group will understand the difficult situation that I am in. Rest assured that I will always be open to future requests and if resources are available, am very much willing to accommodate them.

Thank you and God bless!


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