Saturday, August 24, 2013

Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) : A Farewell to the Pork Barrel

"There's wisdom in weighing all factors before making a decision,
there's strength in making it on your own terms, your own time,
specially if you're the leader of your country, for the good of all~

Haters will hate, idots will sound idiotic, but the fact remains that PNoy
consistently makes the strong, right decisions at the perfect, right times.
I'm proud and grateful to have this man as the President of the Philippines." - Spanky Enriquez

Wazzup Pilipinas!

I have to agree with what a Facebook friend has posted above on his Facebook status. Our president is not a man who could quickly come up with decisions but I give him the benefit of the doubt that he is slow because he takes careful consideration of all matters related to the issues.
We hear him say this at a Malacanang presscon only three days before a netizen-organized rally against the congressional pork barrel will be held in Luneta. The declaration was just last Friday informing the Philippine nation that he was abolishing the corruption-tainted funding vehicle officially called the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) but more popularly known as the "pork barrel".
I've seen all the comments across my Facebook timeline and somehow most of them still have something negative to say about the President despite of his recent stand.

Seemingly departing from his earlier stand, President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III on Friday said it is time to abolish the PDAF. It was a turnaround from Aquino’s position before saying that the pork barrel fund had its “good uses” and should not be junked.

"President Aquino made this statement on Friday, August 23, in a speech aired live nationwide from MalacaƱang, weeks after the systematic siphoning of lawmakers' pork barrel by dubious NGOs was exposed in media reports and later confirmed in a special government audit.

But, really, what he was saying: an overhauled pork barrel system – supposedly designed to be more transparent – will only replace the now much-maligned PDAF." -

So apparently, there will be something else to replace the PDAF. A "pambansang budget" or a "new mechanism to address the needs of the constituents and sectors, in a manner that is transparent, methodical and rational, and not susceptible to abuse or corruption,” says the President.

"Aquino at the same time vowed to prosecute those responsible for misusing the fund, which allows lawmakers to allocate government money for projects in their district. 
He directed the Department of Justice and other agencies under the Inter-Agency Anti-Graft Coordinating Council to investigate, prosecute and jail those who pocketed public funds and seize their ill-gotten wealth."

To go after the culprits of scams and those responsible in the misuse of the PDAF will finally have his or her day in court - and so I hope and pray.

The Aquino government still has a long way to go before they could really put all these cohorts in their rightful places. It will be quite an impossible task considering there's a huge probability that a big percentage of our government officials and employees have their own share of questionable acts.

"The PDAF is a single or lump sum item in the annual General Appropriations Act (GAA), with House members automatically getting P70 million each and senators, P200 million.

Calls for PDAF abolition snowballed following the discovery of the activities of businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles who had reportedly connived with some lawmakers in cornering huge chunks of PDAF through bogus non-government organizations. A Commission on Audit (COA) report would later detail the wheeling and dealing between corrupt lawmakers and private individuals representing questionable NGOs and foundations from 2007 to 2009."

Our government may seem more reactive than proactive - but realistically, there really is no way you could see and do everything even if you're at the highest position of the government.

To all the detractors of the President or the government, I assure you that it is quite impossible to clean up every dirty corner of the government if we continue to elect the politicians who were only after the national fund in the first place.

"Scrapping the PDAF will sate the fevered masses rising up like an angry tide, yes. But that is only one step in a process that requires several steps to clean up the mess of ingrained corruption that costs taxpayer money and leaves the Philippines in a mire of want and need."- Alma Anonas-Carpio

I challenge these politicians if they will still continue to run for office if the PDAF, or any form of budget, will be totally scrapped from their own discretionary use-  Totally no access or opportunity to handle any amount.

I bet majority of the current elected government officials would not have aimed for a government position if PDAF was abolished before their time.

"Panahon na po upang i-abolish ang PDAF. - Benigno Simeon Aquino III

Here's a link to the video and full transcript of the speech:

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