PORKY TURN INTO CROCKY: The Pork Barrel Issue

 

            Pork Barrel has originated in the American history.  The slaves of America were traditionally provided salted pork as a gift to enjoy on holiday. The slaves would run into for the barrel. The rush of the legislators to get a subsidy was lead to stampede of the slave of the pre American civil war.

            In the Philippines, pork barrel was transplanted and altered into a Countrywide Development Fund (CDF) during Corazon Aquino where which the intention is to fast development. However, CDF was become detrimental to the Philippine state because the government started to borrow money to the World Bank and international monetary fund (IMF). Since then, the Philippine debt was growth. It was the time of Erap changed which up to present name, the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

Who gets:

            Until now, Pork allocations have grown by leaps and bound. Almost 58% of the national budget are allocated to the legislators. In 2012, the amount was 26 billion at 70 million to 80 million each for the 250 house representatives including the party lists member plus P200 to P250million for the senators.

Where the fund spend:

            Lawmakers are required to focus on qualified “soft” and “hard” projects for which funds can be spent. Hard projects refers to tangible projects like small infrastructures (e.g.  Road, building). Soft projects cover non-infrastructure project like scholarship programs and medical assistance (e.g libreng tuli, free checkup and medicine).

 

Purpose of PDAF:     

            The priority development allocation fund (PDAF), better known as “PORK BARREL” is a regular allocation of public funds to members of the Philippine congress. It can served as a good complement to national development efforts, which cannot fully provide for the economic and social necessities of every localities, most especially those in far-flung provinces or remote areas. Hence, providing an opportunity for democratic and productive practices towards economic development. PDAF is also a representation of an effective governance of a people’s representative and the democratization of one state.

Issue:

            All the commotion started when a certain businesswoman Janet Napoles was identified as having allegedly cornered as much as 10billion in pork barrel funds directed through non-government organizations (NGOs). The pork-barrel scam associating several senators and congressmen. Another, the taxes of Pilipino people who get obliged to pay while the politician are waiting to corrupt it. After appalling issue, the taxpayer are now in dilemmas to pay or not.

 

Why there is a need to abolish “pork barrel”/ Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF)

 

            At first glance, the PDAF is a good tool that can directly address local needs. However, as with all tools, its role as beneficial or harmful means, it must to end or to abolish the system with how it is being used. Despite its good intention (ideally), the PDAF has also allowed corruption to poison our institution. A crucial elements to this problem is the transparency and accountability of the officials to their allocated fund. They have wide discretion whether to use it in accordance to the purpose or to use it in accordance to their well. Pork Barrel is root cause of corruption, what is developed is not actually the countryside but the pockets of the legislatives and executive officials.

            It also breeds patronage politics and the politics of corrupt negotiations between legislative and executive branches of the government. As a result, Pork Barrel demoralize the primary duty of congress to draft and pass law for the common good.

            Pork barrel stayed an American model which cannot be transplanted into political system of the Philippine as this will only cause on rush of the politicians to get a share of the pork leaving the poor Juan crumbs for his family, and the generation to come beholden to the cruel cycle of poor getting poorer and the politicians getting richer.

What should be done?

To abolish the pork barrel? YES, it’s really possible, but you can’t abolish bureaucratic delinquency as long as the people themselves are supporting it. Since the masses who voted the TRAPOs (politicians) and there values and character traits come from the bloodstream of the past. Let us purify the bloodstream and purify the society, then corruption will be the thing of the past and the clamor for the abolition of the pork barrel system is a call for social transformations, it is a collective aspiration for social justice. And we pave the way for social justice when we end the concentration of power.

 

Let us go on fighting against the pork barrel!

#AbolishPorkBarrelSystem

 

 

Note: Iboto si Trapo ko. Gwapito III (vol. 8 1st semester) article was published in Sunstar Davao April 23, 2013

BE[a]ware of Climate Change

Undoy,

Sendong,

Pablo,

At ngayon

Yolanda na naman.

 

Ito ay mga SUPER TYPHOON.

Ito ay mga kalamidad na posibling gawa ng mga tao at posibling hudyat na ng CLIMATE CHANGE.

 

Ito ay mga pangalan ng bagyong pumapasok sa Philippines Area of Responsibility (PAR).  Ito ay hindi ordinaryong kalamidad, trahedya, at sakuna na sumira ng mga bahay, pananim, pasilidad at buhay ng mga Pilipino.

            Ang Bagyong Undoy ay humagapit sa metro manila.Sinira ang mga pasilidad, bahay at kumitil ng buhay. Ika-17 ng Desyembre taong 2011, humagapit ang bagyong sendong sa Northern Mindanao. Itinala ng DOST-PAGASA, ang sendong ay isa sa pinakamalakas na bagyong pumasok sa Mindanao at kumitil ng libo libo buhay kasali ang mga buhay na hindi pa nakikita mapahanggang ngayon. Pablo ang pangalawang supertyphoon na  pumasok sa Mindanao. Kumitil din ng libo libong buhay, sinira ang mga kabuhayan at pananim ng mga lumad sa compostela valley. At ngayon Yolanda, itinala ng NASA at JAPAN Meteorological ang Yolanda (International name: HAIYAN) ang pinakamalakas na bagyong dumaan sa lupa sa kasaysayan ng mundo at hinagupit nito  ang kabisayaan.

Iilan lamang ito sa mga bagyong dumadaan sa pilipinas na may marka sa kasaysayan, nakatatak sa isipan at karanasan ng bawat Pilipino.

 

Ngunit may rason ang lahat ng bagay, may rason kung bakit nangayayari ang isang pangyayari, may rason kung bakit maypaninisi, may rason kung bakit marami ang napinsala, may rason kung bakit nararanasan natin ang mga malalakas ng bagyo, may rason kung bakit nararamdaman natin ang Climate change, may rason kung bakit konektado ang lahat at may rason kung bakit apektado ako, ikaw at tayong lahat.

 

Ang patuloy na illegal logging sa mga kabukiran, ito ang naging rason kung bakit lumala ang trahedyang sinapit ng mga taga iligan at Cagayan noong humagapit ang bagyong sendong, troso ang sanhi bakit maraming namatay. Ito rin ang epekto kung bakit maraming kaso ng landslide at pagbaha sa mga lugar na malapit sa dagat at ilog. Ngunit wala pa ring matibay na implementasyon at programa ang gobyerno at ahensya (DENR) na ipagbawal ang logging. Wala pa ring naakusahan na mga loggers at mga kompanyang sakot.

             

Ang patuloy ng pagamit ng mga kemikal, pagtapon ng basura, pagsunog ng plastic ay posibling rason kung bakit nakakaranas tayo ng mga malalakas na bagyo. Isa din sa nakikitang rason ng mga environmentalist ang patuloy ng pagbuga ng carbon emission ng mga malalaking industriya ng China, US, Japan at Russia ay nakakadagdag sa pagsira ng greenhouse kahit may Kyoto Protocol na kasunduan ang mga malalaking bansa para limitahan ang pagbuga. Ngunit naging tulay pa ito upang magkaroon ng carbon trading at carbon taxation at pagsasamatala sa mga developing countries katulad ng pilipinas na nasa ring of fire at harap ang pacific ocean.

 

Ang pagdami ng corporasyon at mining industry ay iisang din sa  rason kung bakit nauubos ang mga kakahuyan at nakakalbo ang mga kabukiran sa Bukidnon, Northern Luzon Region, Zamboanga, Compostela Valley, Surigao at maraming pang iba. Ito ay dahil sa Mining Act of 1995 kung saan pinapayagan ng gobyerno ang mga pribadong sektor magtayo ng mga multicorporation.

 

Ang kawalan ng atensyon ng gobyerno sa usaping climate change at global warming ay posibli ding rason kung bakit patuloy ang pag aabuso at pagsasamantala ng mga Pilipino sa kalikasan at pagwalang bahala sa isyu. Ang gobyerno ay may responsibilidad gumawa ng mga programang patungkol sa isyung climate change upang tumaas ang kanilang “consciousness” at maging aware sa nangayayari. Ngunit mas nakikkita pa ang aksyon ng mga Civil Society Organization (NGO at People’s Organization), mga progresibong grupo at mga institusyon.na nag aadbokasiya ng mga alternatibong solusyon (e.g. green economy, ecosocialism) at paglalaban ng mga anti-environment policies (e.g. repeal mining act, development aggression)

 

Ang risk reduction at preparasyon ng national at local government at ang kulang na kagamitan ay posibling rason kung bakit lumalala ang sinapit ng mga Pilipino. Ang pilipinas ay kumukuha at naghihintay lamang ng inpormasyon galing sa NASA at JAPAN Meteorological.  Bago mag dalawang lingo ng humagapit si Bagyong Yolanda may ibinigay ng inpormasyon ang NASA. Subalit naging busy ang  lahat sa isyung pork barrel.

                       

            Marami na ang bilang ng mga Internal Displaced Peoples’ (IPDs) sa pilipinas. Matapos nangyari ang sendong, Pablo at Yolanda, libo-libong pamilya ang apektado sa kalamidad, walang matirahan, walang pangkain, at walang kabuhayan. Sa iligan, mapahanggang ngayon may iilan pa rin ang nakatira sa tent at transitory house. Marami pa rin ang nahihintay sa ipangakong livelihood at scholarship ng gobyerno para sa mga survivor. (basi sa Iligan Survival Movement (ISM).

           

            Ang pagbabadya ng pagtaas ng temperatura sa mundo (the world temperature will rise between 2% and 4% in the next 10 years according to scientists), ang pagyeyelo ng pyramid of Giza, ang matinding lamig dulot ng polar vortex, ang pag ulan sa middle east countries at ang pagdami ng mga malalakas ng bagyo at kalamidad ngayon ay hindi pangkaraniwan pangyayari sa mundo,

ITO AY HUDYAT NA NG CLIMATE CHANGE.

#CLIMATEJUSTICENOW!