ACT Now: Beat the pork, expose corruption

The news over the ill use of some lawmaker’s Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), better known as ‘pork barrel’, has swept the social media causing outrage among Filipino people calling for the abolition of the pork barrel system and for ending the culture of graft, corruption and patronage politics.

The PDAF is a regular allocation of public funds to the members of the Congress. It allocates P200 million a year for each senator and P70 million for each member of the House of Representatives.

Recently, the nation has been dazed by the pork barrel scam involving several politicians and a greedy businesswoman, Janet Lim-Napoles.

The government has been defrauded of some P10 billion over the past 10 years, having been diverted to Napoles, who owns 28 houses, 30 cars and 400 bank accounts, participating members of Congress and other government officials.

On August 26, one million new heroes who want the pork barrel scrapped will assemble at the Luneta Park.

“Kayo ang boss ko,” President Aquino told the Filipino people during his inaugural speech. Now, his bosses are asking him to abolish the pork barrel system.

Alarmed by the public outrage, PNoy announced that he is abolishing the special congressional allocation to halt misuses by congressmen and senators.

What Pnoy said was the abolition of the PDAF. He did not say the pork barrel system would be abolished. Definitely, the funds will no longer be called PDAF but it would remain as congressional allocations. Under the new system, it will carry another name but it is still the publics’ money at the discretion of politicians.

CUPIT, NACAW, CORAF, HOLDAF | Netizens suggest names for new pork system

The Aquino government, who promised a ‘tuwid na daan’, is now defending the pork barrel.

In the center of a public debate over the pork barrel, this is nothing new. History repeats itself. Our country is influenced by corrupt leaders.

How can we have wealthy Enriles, Estradas, Revillas, Ampatuans, Angaras, Ejercitos, Farinases, Singsons, Villafuertes, and people who often suffer poverty and hunger?

The pork barrel system has deprived Filipinos of their rights to social services. Each of the 94 million Filipinos owed P57,063. Our government's outstanding debt is P5.364 trillion. Millions of Filipinos who, according to a recent survey, went hungry in the last three months. Imagine what pork barrel can fund if it is used properly. We lack truthful and capable leaders who spend it prudently and wisely.

These are funds that should be used for schools, hospitals, jobs and projects. Taxes paid by the people are for the people and it is not for the support of the high lifestyle of politicians.

In a culture of corruption, we need to ACT now – promote accountability, credibility and transparency - by enabling the people to hold the government and to account the use of public resources. I strongly support the Freedom of Information. The money that our representatives are using is not for them. This is about the money of the people but the government destroys this freedom.

We call on the Aquino administration to abolish the pork barrel system and audit all the branches of the government. This is a system that keeps poverty prevalent. We call the Filipino to take action against this series of corruption and abuse.

Author: Paul Michael Camania Jaramillo

Student| Youth Advocate | Leader | Environmental Advocate | Writer | Blogger | RH Advocate

I am neither especially clever nor especially gifted. I am only very, very curious. — Albert Einstein
I write about darkness because I want to show the light — Jose Rizal

He has been involved in different advocacy and defending human rights. As a blogger, writer, netizen and an advocate, he has found focus & interest on sexuality & reproductive health, deaf rights & legal access and youth development, leadership, environment advocacy, issues in the nation and in the world, religion, culture and human rights At the age of 14, he has fully embraced the call of leadership.

He was a Lussoc National High School 'The Sring' and 'Ang Batis' news editor. A radical visionary leader, he has led organizations of the Supreme Student Government, Science Club, Youth for Environment in Schools Organization, Interact Club, Math Club, Philippine National Red Cross and other organizations in their institution. He was also awarded as a distinguished student leader as a former officer of the Supreme Student Government and received President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Campus Journalism Award. He attended two National Leadership Training for the Student Government Officers, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, Youth for Environment Summer Camp, Science Leaders Congress and Schools Press Conference. Joined and won in the several contests from their school to the national level.

Paul is a BS Accountancy student at the Northwestern University. He works for CBAA Biznews and  The Blog of Innocence: SilentVoice Points. He is the College Editors Guild of the Philippines-Ilocos Chairperson. CEGP is the oldest and broadest intercollegiate alliance of student publications in the Asia-Pacific.

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