Abolish “pork barrel?”
Candidates for public office can be compared to suitors who will promise anything imaginable, under the sun to win her heart of a chosen one. Two things can be considered as motives: to savour the sweet taste of femineity or indeed to lure her to become his life’s partner till death do them part.
Women therefore should seriously be discerning enough to give in and accept the proposal, or suffer the consequences of a sad fate for an indiscretion.
Listening to candidates speak I tend to set an open-mind. We hear them speak as if their advocacies are the ready answers to the many problems that beset our nation. They try to project the image that they are the bearers of the right answers to various age-all problems like food, jobs, security and honest governance. To the new aspirants I can give them credit for their promises but for reelectionist I set silent moments of serious thoughts and discernment to see and find just how their advocacies were done during their incumbencies.
One of the issues that have long lingered in our frustrated consciousness for decades now is about the pork barrel, now beautifully rephrased priority development assistance fund (PDAF), officially incorporated in the national budget which is quite a large allocation to lawmakers of P70 million to congressmen, and double that for senators. The legislators say they have no hand in the funds; they “simply” identify these projects they want implemented in their districts and the national constituents for senators. (EHEM!)
Some candidates, the new ones especially those seeking for the electoral posts as lawmakers, promised to abolish the pork barrel in their campaign sorties. That’s ‘mission impossible’ Mr. Baldomero Falcone. It is a real herculean task to have that passed because such move will need the concurrence of the Senate, a collegial body. It is an undeniable fact that PDAF allocates some 30% from cost of projects “identified” by them as their fair “share” of the legislators as revealed by
Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson few years back. It will be foolhardy for them if they agree for its abolition.
The most prudent and one believable proposal that a legislature-wannabe can offer our people in their campaign sorties regarding the pork barrel issue, is to issue policies and strict guideline on PDAF spending. Let them be real advocates of President Aquino’s policy on transparency.
Along this line, government should task the Commission on Audit to assign a Special Audit team solely for projects that are implemented through PDAF. What we seriously mean is government should report to the nation an honest-to-goodness audit and transparent assessment of these projects that art funded by PDAF.
Congressmen should likewise oblige themselves to make a report to their constituents where their pork barrel was/ is being spent. That’s transparency in the highest and honourable plain, a good and apt justification to the address attached before their names…. Honorable!
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