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Pork Barrel 101

Brought to you by: PIGLASAPAT

Establishing Great Leaders since 1986

What You Need to Know:

Pork Barrels History in the Philippines, its Nature, its Purpose
Pork Barrel in Aquino Administration and the Napoles Scandal PIGLASAPAT Stand

Pork Barrel 101

The History, Nature, Purpose, Derivation and Standards of Transparency of Pork Barrel

Historicity and Nature1

According to the Supreme Court in Philippine Constitutional Association vs. Enriquez, et al., PDAF is categorically declared as a valid and constitutional exercise of congressional power of the purse. In 1989, the Mindanao Development Fund and Visayas Development Fund were created with lump sum appropriations of P480M and P240M, respectively. Representatives from these islands were authorized to identify development projects worth P10M per district. This prompted Senators and Representatives from Luzon to assert that they similarly needed funds for their local projects. Consequently, in 1990 the Countrywide Development Fund (CDF) was created with an initial funding of P2.3 Billion for projects in all congressional districts and national constituency of Senators. This was aimed to support small local infrastructure and other priority community projects which are not included in the national infrastructure program involving massive and costly projects. In 2000, it was renamed as what it is now, Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). Actually, the authority of Congressmen and Senators is limited to identification of projects and designation of beneficiaries, subject to specific menu. There is but an open bidding of beneficiaries, and disbursement of funds must be requested, deliberated and approved by the Department of Budget and Management.

Derivation of the term pork barrel

The expression pork barrel alludes to the fatness of pork and is equated with political largesse in American politics since the mid-1800s (American Heritage Dictionary of English Language, 4th edition). An actual container for storing of pig mean in brine, the pork barrel has been with the Americans since the early days of their Republic. According to Chester Collins Maxey who popularized the term, the phrase originated in the pre-Civil War practice of giving slaves a barrel of salt pork as a reward and requiring them to compete among


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themselves to get their share of hand-out. More generally, that barrel was a common larder item in 19th century households and used as a measure of the familys financial well-being.

Standards for Transparency

The congressional projects are bounded in Special Provision No. 1 under XLVI on Priority Development Assistance Fund (p 950 of the General Appropriations Act for 2008) provides in full: (1) The amount appropriated herein shall be used to fund priority programs and projects under the Ten-Point Legacy Agenda of the national government, and shall be released directly to the implementing agencies as indicated hereunder, to wit:

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Role of Legislative Branch

The legislature is divided into two houses, the Upper, consisting of the 24 Senators, and the Lower House, where Representatives of Congressional Districts and Party Lists are in. The Lower House has 288 seats (16th Congress). The main purpose of their branch is (1) to legislative laws, (2) set the budget for the state and (3) set domestic policies.

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Pork Barrel 101

The Status Quo: Pork Barrel Republic of President Aquino and The Napoles Scandal

Pork Barrel in Aquino Administration

According to the Department of Budget and Management, the average of the first three year term of President Noys Pork Barrel release have tripled to 24.8B, compared to President Arroyos last three-year average.

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Chunk of the amassing amount is actually used by the Legislative branch. Each Senator has P200M and Congressmen, P70M yearly. During 2012, the senators with the largest allocations were Pia Cayetano (277M), her brother Alan Peter (256M), Antonio Trillanes (253M), Teofisto Guingona (229M), and Francis Pangilinan (P227M) 2. Accordingly, legislators said to use these amounts to construct multi-purpose buildings, repair of barangay, payment of hospitalization costs of indigent patients. But the recent scandal of Napoles speaks a converse tone.

The Napoles Scandal3

This began when Benhur Luy, an employee of Janet Napoles in one of her allegedly owned 22 Non-Government Organizations was illegally detailed last December 19, 2012 in South Wings Gardens of Pacific Plaza Tower in Bonifacio Global City. When he has rescued on March 22 by the NBI, it was known that Benhur Luy wanted to engage in the same racket as what Janet is doing (but the latter disagrees): getting commissions equivalent to 40-60% of the amount of PDAF in exchange for the right to determine the implementing agency and fund beneficiary. Soon after, more whistle-blowers: the former employees, chambermaids and drivers, all who became key facilitators in funnelling funds to dummy NGOs were coming out. The Scandal was becoming heard about, and significant names of Senators were linked as key players of this outrage: Senators Jinggoy Estrada, Bongbong Marcos, Juan Ponce Enrile, Gringo Honasan and Ramon Revilla Jr. An overwhelming P10B was at stake here. It was later found out that this Janet Napoles owned prodigal properties-- at least 28 houses4 in the Philippines, two US Companies and three-California based properties linked to Napoles brother Reynald. In an interview with ABS-CBN News Korina Sanchez on July 23, Napoles, her husband and two children, James and Jo-Christine, explained that the familys wealth came from a successful business in coal export and trade to China, India and Pakistan and others since 1990s.5 Sanchez even interviewed a long time business partner who flew in to testify to the legitimacy of the Napoles family business. The unidentified business party said that in 1998, they grew up together up to right and their business partnership grew bigger. In Jakarta, they have a properly around 650 hectares. Furthermore, Napoles denied that she owns JLN Companies, and only owned Magdalena Luy-Lim Foundation as her solely owned
2 3

http://www.manilatimes.net/pnoys-pork-barrel-republic/29287/ http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/472653/six-of-9-pork-scam-witnesses-related-to-napoles 4 http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/466499/janet-lim-napoles-owns-28-houses 5 http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/458623/source-of-napoles-wealth-questioned

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Non-Government Organization (NGO).6 Other sources of wealth, she added, were from inheritance, business trading, subdivision and housing investments in Indonesia, but never in the Pork Barrel. Just recently, August 15, 2013, an arrest warrant was released for her illegal detention of Benhur Luy. Janet Napoles, until now, was nowhere to be found.

At any rate, these assertions of Janet Napoles and allegations by whistleblowers both require an equal opportunity for hearing. We but demand a speedy and efficient investigation for this matter. Simply, the root of all this is the susceptibility of the PDAF for misappropriation, despite the Standard of Transparency being set. Commission on Audit Chair Grace Pulido-Tan, on her August 17, 2013 disclosure of report on PDAF Scam, confirmed that 10 non-government organizations with links to Napoles illegally got hold of P2.157B of legislators pork barrel funds released for 2007 to 2009. 7 It was timely then for the Commission on Audit to finish their investigation. It has proven that in just a matter of 3 years, 2.157B would go to someone elses money. History and Probability tells us then, that in a matter of a decade or two, even some legislators use their PDAF for legitimate purposes like scholarships and hospitalization grants for indigent people, trillions of pesos could be washed away. Not the lax system of accountability and transparency, but the existence of Pork Barrel would bring more harm to the people than good. Even if you employ a very good system of transparency, we are distressed still, knowing how politicians could find rooms to commit their wrongdoings. How they could transverse policies by conniving from offices to offices, and how connections could be used to hide anomalies under the table, are appalling. Even if a very good system of transparency can be employed, and legislators cannot do their irregularities, we still believe that these legislators must be full time in their main responsibility of making laws and policies that will benefit people.
6 7

Pork Barrel 101

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/463503/napoles-insists-her-money-came-from-inheritance-coal-trading http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/08/22/13/coa-stands-credibility-pork-barrel-report

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We but believe that the best way to genuinely reach out for the poor is to make the system work. To make the Executive Branches to their share of trickling down, by taking account those people from areas that are disregarded, like in provinces of South Cotabato, in rural areas of Bukidnon, or in underdeveloped cities like Shariff Aguak. The legislators must have their share of help, and that must be through doing best what they do good, make laws. The 24.96B [(200Mx24 Senators )+(70Mx288 Congressmen)] could rather be a part of the General Appropriations Act that is to be partitioned to each department of the Executive. But if the concern of Filipino youth here is their education funded by scholarships using PDAF, well, in 2014 the Department of Education has 336.6B allocation, the highest among all, and possibly if you add back the PDAF and reallocate it to the branches, the funds for education is increased by so much amount. Therefore, higher budget in the Education department should mean more resources and funds for state-universities. But how can we guaranty that it reaches the far-flung areas? That is where the Regional and Local Government has to come in. They, being the enactors of laws, and being the paragons of service, has the responsibility to trickle down the help. Meanwhile, the legislators will to just enact laws that would aid the trickling down, like make a clear-cut policy for coordination from the national office down to the local governments. The government branches just have to do what they do best. In this onset we believe, that proper empowerment for executive departments, and faithfulness to their responsibilities is more present in this system where PDAF is added to the Department budgets. So, how do we do away the Pork Barrel now? We want to stick in to Senator Miriam Santiagos proposal8 of cutting PDAF half in 2014, then on 2015, another half, so on 2016, it is abolished. To wit, it is necessary to give premium to legislators who use their money well. There are those congressmen who are full-time in giving scholarships to financially challenged Filipinos, or in doling out health insurance cards to indigents. If we do away pork barrel instantaneously, these dependents will be left unattended to. We fear that they will be disenfranchised of a future just because we do away a system whose centrefold is corruption and anomaly. There will really be someone whos on the losing end, but we must accou nt for the loss as necessary to better a system thats lost. The necessary agency, for example Department of Education should come in the picture and ascertain, or set provisions to catch these dependent Filipinos from congressmens scholarship funds, while yearly, the budget is


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being cut to half. The Executive Branch should be empowered to take the responsibility because it is theirs to begin with. If the Pork Barrel stays, not only those Filipinos dependent for scholarships are on the losing end, but its got to be the entire Filipinos, dependent or not, because it is their money thats losing--billions of it, or perhaps trillions. We, of course, want what is best for us all. And to do so, we need to do away the root of it pork barrel. The ideal objective of pork barrel is nowhere to be found in the very reality of our political system. We are one with Prof. Randy David when he witted: Can pork be good after it is used? Not in a political system dominated by insatiable swine. Therefore, we rally this August 26, 2013 9:00am at Rizal Park with the rest of the Filipino people in their want to abolish Pork Barrel and put in a stringent investigation to all stakes concerned. We love our country, and we cannot fathom the corruption thats long been there in the system of PDAF. This is our money. This is what we want. Abolish the Pork Barrel, once and for all. Nothing follows

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