A Call for a Toasted Pork

It’s a big deal for the society to tackle on the political issues in the Philippines with wide variety of hot matters in which resulted to toilsome discussions within the public office. Most of the news in media is touched by the madness of this dispute called the Pork Barrel Scam. As controversies arisen, more and more oppositions from different sectors of the society are joining in for the eradication of Pork Barrel. This is a toast.

For the many people who have tried to seek for the “tuwid na daan” including me, I feel frustrated not for the failed promises but the facts I have learned about these issues. I attended a forum about Pork Barrel Abolition last September 22, 2014. My young mind is confused with these reactions: “Ha?”, “What?”, “Ito ba talaga ang katotohonan behind this pork barrel system?”,”Money from Power nalang ang peg ng gobyerno? At imbes na pag-serbisyohan ang masa, pera ng bayan ang inaabuso.”These are some of my first reactions regarding the matter. But actually, I cannot sue all the government officials.

Yes, it might appear to be a democratic way of apportioning government resources, but the sad fact is that some politicians are not handling well in office. So what will happen to the communities in need? How about the unfinished construction on roads, unsupported school funds, lack of houses and medical clinics, or feed orphans, grant scholarships, or distribute fertilizers for agricultural sectors which have inadequate portion from the funds of the government?

To be clear with what I am saying, I am in the side of eradicating Pork Barrel System. Why? Not because I have to or because majority is contradicting the system but for the reason that I am in need of “change”- a change where people in the government should do their task correctly.

Checking and balancing measures aren’t effective here. Legislators comprise Congress. I believe that they should focus on lawmaking, not executive functions. PNoy tried to create an alternative to PDAF through DAP, which the SC ruled as unconstitutional. Given its nature, it would have boosted government spending and theoretically would have led to infrastructures, for educational programs, for medical and health support and etc. It would have boosted the economy (barring misuse).  However, the issue behind PDAF was the misuse of public funds. Therefore, the Philippine political system is fraught with multilayered problems. PDAF is just the tip of the iceberg.

I am for abolition of pork barrel system so that the people’s money will go to where it is really needed and not to where a few powerful people want to. Well, to abolish something, one might dare to wonder “what after then?”  So, the alternative way is to establish the objectives of PDAF and put it directly under the budget of government departments.

Just last September 23, 2014, thousands of people rallied in the streets from the different parts of the country to address signature campaign for a people’s initiative to abolish the pork barrel system and other schemes in the national  budget that allots lump-sum appropriations for lawmakers. This is a one big step protest that would enable for us to work on against Pork Barrel. Under the Initiative and Referendum Act, the advocates of this petition in opposing the discretion in the government is possible for me. Approval of the People’s Initiative Petition could disable the presidential and congressional porks and thus for whoever misuse public funds will be imprisoned. I agree. Penalizing all corrupt government officials deserve to be in jails.

Anyway, there is a need for continuous campaign for the act abolishing Pork Barrel System. If 6 million signatures are achieved (assuming that COMELEC check the validity of signatures), I expect that people’s initiative against Pork Barrel will prohibit the use of “lump sum public funds” under the “sole discretion of the President, legislator or group of legislators, or any public officer.

In the sense that many sequence of anomalies in the Philippine government had occurred, it is not shocking anymore. As for me, it is natural to abolish Pork Barrel because it is an absolute shame of higher public officials rendering to this kind of misusing community funds. I can’t expect or believe too much that it will be a fast abolition since for me, justice in the Philippines is slow especially when the convicted are rich and powerful government officials. Thus, it will be extended again and again. This is a toast.