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Friday, August 23, 2013

₱450 Billion Presidential Pork barrel of Pres Aquino must be abolished! Ex-national treasurer said

17 comments

Former National Treasurer Leonor Briones: Slay the bigger monster. PHOTO FROM FACEBOOK.COM

Suspending the "pork barrel" or scrapping it altogether is good, but why not slay the bigger monster in the annual national budget?

That creature would be the "special purpose funds" (SPF) of President Aquino which, at 449.95 billion, eat up about a fifth of the entire 2.268-trillion budget proposed for 2014.

The present subject of widespread public outrage—the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), or pork barrel—is only about 5.5 percent (or 25.24 billion) of the incoming SPF, according to former National Treasurer Leonor Briones.

"But it's a good start because we need to start somewhere anyway," she told the Philippine Daily Inquirer. "The other secrets of the budget, it will take some time for the public to understand them and to be familiar with them."

Briones' group, Social Watch Philippines, has been advocating a bigger "budget reform," which would include the SPF, a big-ticket item with supposedly "no historical record on how it started."

The "entire special purpose fund is under the control of the President," a sort of pork barrel of his own, she pointed out.

'Like Congress'

"What happens is the President behaves like Congress himself. He's like a little legislature himself," she said, referring to the way the sitting Chief Executive is allowed to give away the SPF to agencies and legislators of his choice, even after Congress has deliberated on the budget.

"Whoever is favored by the President, they just need to go to him and he will make all the transfers in the budget."

President Aquino was earlier reported as saying he was suspending the distribution of the pork barrel until the investigation into the alleged 10-billion PDAF scam was completed. Senators are each allotted 200 million in annual PDAF, while House representatives each get 70 million yearly.

But taking away the pork would not necessarily mean legislators would be left with nothing in the 2014 national budget. Here come the special purpose funds, which are "nonpermanent in nature" and "subject to a special provision and the approval of the President."

"Every thing in this budget, you can insert. You just need to be good, imaginative," Joseph Rañola, head of the Center for National Budget, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in a separate interview on Monday night.

Included in the SPF is the "unprogrammed fund" worth 139.9 billion for 2014, which is more than 22 billion higher than the existing item in this year's budget.

A big chunk of the SPF is earmarked under the item "budgetary support for government corporations," which amounts to 46.69 billion in the 2014 budget. It was worth only 4.9 billion in the 2002 budget, then ballooned to 24.2 billion in 2010 and 44.6 billion this year.

Better under 'regular' budget

For Briones, special purpose funds are better allocated under the "regular" budget for different government agencies, so they could be better scrutinized by Congress.

This year, the Department of Education has the biggest "regular" budget at 232.59 billion, followed by the Department of Public Works and Highways with 155.5 billion.

The allocation, though, did not mean that the agencies had nothing else left in other parts of the budget.

Briones questioned the wisdom behind allocating 2.47 billion in "e-government fund" under the SPF, instead of placing the amount under the regular budget of the agency in charge of information technology.

The same would go with the 7.5-billion calamity fund placed under the discretion of the President under the SPF, when it could have been allocated to the department on climate change or disaster management, she said.

The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority, a pet project of Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, stands to get 890.8 million in next year's proposed budget. It got 1.129 billion in 2009 and 1.114 billion the following year, all under the SPF.

The Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority, a separate pet project by former Sen. Edgardo Angara, was allotted 76 million in next year's budget. It has been getting funding since 2008, the highest amount hitting 800 million two years later.

Not as fortunate was the Cottage Industry Technology Center, which was given only 9 million both this year and the next. The Center for International Trade Expo and Missions stands to get 186.4 million next year.

Philippine Daily Inquirer

17 Responses so far

  1. Anonymous says:

    Si panot papayag tatangalin ang Pork Barrel nya? Papayag kaya sya wala na yan pambili ng mga ekals alam nyo na.. aminin...... paano pa yan makahanap ng date.. hohoho (Date?.. hahah August 23, 2013 3:59 PM) hahahahah

  2. Anonymous says:

    bisakol!

  3. Anonymous says:

    mga alipoores ito i pandak n mgnnakaw...

  4. Anonymous says:

    Natanggal na ni Pnoy yung PDAF. tsk.. tsk.. tsk.. okay rin syang Presidente. Na distribute nya rin yung hacienda luisita. so...

  5. Anonymous says:

    Talagang ganyan ang madami sa ating kababayan. May gawin at wala. Basta hindi pabor sa kanya may puna. Di na makatulong sa bayan, nakaka perwisyo pa.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Ang hirap; pag nabukong ang gumagawa ng hindi mabuti gagawa din ng paraan para lang magkaroon ng publicity. sana naman matutu nakayo na magbigayan napaka walang hiya nyo naman simula pa noon hanggang ngayon ugali ng mga politiko puro crab mentality kung hindi nyo kayang gampanan ang inyong tungkulin na walang pork barrel mag step down. at sa president naman yong budget sa pork barrel na yan ay ibili agad ng mga armaments para sa defense.

  7. NANCY BINAY THINK HOW TO RECOVER HER ELECTION COST IF THE PORK IS ABOLISHED?....

    Bago magdesisyon kung dapat bang i-abolish o i-reporma na lamang ang PDAF, nais muna raw tapusin ni Sen. Nancy Binay ang imbestigasyon patungkol sa pork barrel scam. Pakinggan ang buong panayam sa senadora kasama si Atty. Mel Sta. Maria.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Buwisit talaga hahabol pa sa partihan ng pdaf. Wala na oi. Kasing itim talaga ng pekpek mo budhi mo.

  9. sige nga kung tatanggalin yung pork ni pnoy san mapupunta yung pera? sa pintuan ng mga senador at congressman, agencies? presidente pa tawag kay pnoy kung wala syang kaunting kontrol sa pagbigay ng pork! atsaka naka detalye na yung pagbigay ng pork ni pnoy sa mga congressman etc. wlang isip tung Leonor Briones na to oo, ikaw na maging presidente (kung may boboto sayu)makapag sabi ka na ilagay sa mga agencies nayan imbis hawakan ni pnoy eh parang hinahabol ka yata ng Komunista!

  10. Anonymous says:

    dapat tanggalin na ang pork barrel nayan, dyan sila nagka nterest para yumaman

  11. Anonymous says:

    Si President Pnoy po ba ay MATUWID NA TAO?

    IPASA NA KASI ANG FREEDOM OF INFORMATION BILL. TAPOS SUNDIN SI MRS BRIONES SA MGA SUGGESTIONS NIYA.

  12. Ð-Czech says:

    You could have said it while you were still in the office, not when your friend's enemy took over.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Matuwid ba talaga si President Pnoy?

    Everything rises and falls on leadership.

  14. Anonymous says:

    The best guarantee of transparency and accountability is the Freedom of Information Bill.

    Corruption prospers under the umbrellas of secrecy. Disclose everything and all will be clean.

    PASS FOI BILL IN CONGRESS AND LET THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES SIGNS IT AS URGENT.

    If our leaders do this, then a more progressive Philippines will be experienced.

    God bless our leaders.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Calling on the Congress of the Philippines and President Pnoy. Please approve now the FREEDOM OF INFORMATION BILL.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Para sa akin dapat gawing legal yung DAP.

    1. Zamboanga crisis, kung walang DAP sa tingin nyo ba matatapos ni PNoy ang crisis, tingin ko hindi kahit meron special allocation pa, kasi kakabahan sya na baka maubos ang special allocation at mangailangan kumuha sa National Treasury at biglang bigla sa kalagitnaan ng labanan umayaw sa pagrelease ang mga congressmen, baka madaming mamatay sa sundalo natin at matalo tayo sa laban.
    2. CCT project - malamang wala na din nito. Same reason above.
    3. Calamity - diba sa DOST napunta yung ibang pera kaya nagamit sa magandang project.
    4. GDP - tataas kaya ang GDP kung ang pera hindi nagamit? malamang hindi.
    5. Power - kailangan ng power ng presidente, natural para naman maipagmalaki natin na powerful ang president natin at hindi weakling, kapag may pera ang parents natin dun sila nagiging powerful and we like that.
    6. Savings - kapag may DAP, nakakatipid tayo dahil ang gagawin nya sa DPWH, baka naman imbes na 2B yang project eh matawaran pa natin ng 1.5B na lang, hehehehe totoo ito na parang palengke.
    7. DnD - diba gusto natin huwag mapahiya sa ibang bansa, possible na dalhin dito ang sobrang pera.
    8. Creative Thinking/RnD - kung malalim ang bulsa ng tao, madaming naiisip na magagandang projects kasi may buffer.
    9. Mabawasan ang utang or future utang - kasi kung meron namang pera bakit pa mangungutang.

    Ang problem kasi kapag nilagay mo na sa National Treasury hindi mo basta pede gamitin, parang ibinaon sa konkretong lupa na napakahirap makuha. Dapat meron lang porsyento na ilalagay dun from the budget surplus kasi kung lahat ilalagay mo dun para kang lumakad ng hubad sa mundo diba, ikaw ba kung may pera ka iiwan mo lahat sa bahay mo at aalis ka ng bahay, kawawa naman tayo nun.

    At isa pa, sure ba na sa National Treasury walang anomalya?

  17. Anonymous says:

    Tama FOI + DAP kahit + PDAF pa ok lang basta meron FOI.

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