- Posted August 25, 2013 by
1M Filipinos to gather in Manila vs 'pork'
This developed after Philippine President Benigno Aquino III on Friday hinted in a televised press conference that he is not about to let go of the other lump sum appropriations in the national budget.
Although he now favors the scrapping of the congressional pork barrel, Aquino disputed Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile’s position that all the other lump sum appropriations of government agencies and offices should also be abolished.
Enrile called not just for the scrapping of the PDAF but also of all lump sum appropriations of all government agencies.
“If it must be scrapped, the pork barrel system should be scrapped totally. We should not only look at scrapping the PDAF but include the various ‘pork barrel’ or lump sum appropriations of all departments of government in the General Appropriations Act as well,” Enrile said.
“What about the intel funds?” some reporters asked.
The proposed P2.268-trillion General Appropriations Act (GAA) for 2014 contains a provision of P7.5 billion as calamity fund and another P1 billion as contingency fund, whose disbursement is according to the discretion of the President.
However, both Aquino and Enrile were silent on the fate of intelligence funds, which are allotted even to agencies and offices outside of the law enforcement and security apparatus of the government, such as the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
While he viewed Enrile’s idea as good in principle, Aquino said the government had to be prepared for expenditures that cannot be covered in the national budget.
It can be recalled that the controversy surrounding the PDAF was unearthed after whistleblower Benhur Luy filed a complaint of illegal detention against Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged brain of the P10-billion “pork barrel” scam.
Luy disclosed in his affidavit that government officials, including senators and congressmen, used the fake nongovernment organizations (NGOs) put up by Napoles for their ghost projects.
Sources close to this writer revealed that of the total funds released, 60 percent goes to the pocket of government officials, while Napoles gets the remaining 40 percent.