Monday, July 22, 2013

Pork Barrel In The Philippines: A Personal Insight

Pork Barrel In The Philippines: A Personal Insight



Pork barrel is the appropriation of government spending for localized projects secured solely or primarily to bring money to a representative's district.

In the Philippines, the term is commonly used in politics. Filipino legislators are allocated large sums of the annual national budget (200 million pesos for each senator and 70 million for each representative) in a program called the Priority Development Assistance Fund.

Source: Wikipedia.

How did pork barrel started?

The use of pork barrel funds in the Philippines dates back to the 1930s during the U.S. colonial occupation.



The pork barrel system patterned after American precedents pervaded the pre-martial law Congress. In fact, “legislators who served during the said period even bragged that congressmen had greater access to pork and enjoyed uncontested latitude in its use” and claimed that because of their pork barrel they were “more feared then than now!” (Salvador Miranda, “The Politics of Pork”, November, 1996).

Source: congress.guv.ph

My personal insight:

I personally am against politics and I am not into it or in any form of it. This is just my personal insight about PDAF or commonly know as the pork barrel.

If our senators and congressmen have enough PDAF annual budget based on the above data from Wikipedia, then that would mean more goverment projects and developments in the Philippines.

Now, it sounded so right for me, the word projects and developments and I myself can attest that there really are more government projects done like basketball courts, barangay halls, roads, waiting sheds, etc. especially in our own barangay (sorry for those areas that were forgotten or shall I say, the least prioritize ones).

Related News
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Abolish pork barrel - this is what I often heard and seen in local and online news. What is the reason then to abolish it wherein the citizens benefited from it? But recent news reported that the Philippine government had thrown away something like P10 billion on ghost pork barrel projects and beneficiaries.

That surmised me that pork barrel means corruption. Probably that's one of the main reason why people run for Congress and the Senate.

I remember a campaign slogan of Pres. Benigno C. Aquino III when he still runs for presidency "Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap". This was his primary promise, to eliminate corruption, that I think was the main reason why he was chosen as the President.

Politicians running for Congress or Senate spent big sum of money during the last elections. If there is no guaranteed payback, why should they run anyway. Spending something like P1 billion for the campaign is really insane enough if you personally don't have that budget or nobody sponsors you.

A whistleblower, a defeated Senatorial candidate, reported and exposed a P10 billion pork barrel scam. He said that the commission for the legislator to use his/her pork barrel fund is 40-60 percent. If this is true, probably that explains why these people running for Congress or Senate spend hefty sum of amount just to be elected.

This, I guess, is what I termed as legal corruption. The poor will remain poor.

I welcome your suggestions and ideas here. Please feel free to post your comments.

Image source: akamaihd.net


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