Pork Barrel Scam: Every Filipino’s Concern


I see so many frustrated commenters on my social media and blog expressing dismay at the seeming lack of interest of people in the scam which prompted me to write another post about the topic.

The Pork Barrel Scam directly affects all of us. No one can say their lives are okay so it doesn’t matter.

Why?

Because the country, and all Filipino’s lives could have been much better if that money had been used for the country.

In the latest article by Rappler titled “Napoles NGO’s got P2.1 B in pork – COA“, Leila De Lima reveals that at least P6.156 BILLION of Pork Barrel Funds were released to questionable NGO’s.  This audit began 2 years ago and only covers the years 2007 and 2008 alone.  Of the P6.156 Billion, P2.1 Billion were confirmed released to NGO’s established by Napoles. (See full report here).

Imagine, P6.156 Billion of our hard-earned tax money has, according to De Lima, disappeared.

To make it more concrete for us regular folk, what can P6.156 Billion buy for the country?

That is the equivalent of 61,560 houses in Gawad Kalinga assuming a cost of P100,000.00 per house.  This means homes for 61,560 families from poor communities.

That is the equivalent of over 25,120 new classrooms assuming a classroom size of 49 sqm at P5,000.00 per sqm construction cost which can benefit over  753,600 school children.

That is equivalent to 1 year salary of over 23,310 new public school teachers at a starting salary of P22,000.00 per month .

That is equivalent to 1 year’s salary of over 42,750 minimum wage earners in Metro Manila at the current minimum wage set at P446.00 per day.

That is equivalent to countless roads, improved public transportation systems or even a renovation of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport that was voted the worst airport in the world.

To think that they have barely scratched the surface of this as they are only at the books for 2007 and 2008.  The news also implies that Janet Napoles isn’t the only person engaging in this form of “creative accounting” as only 1/3 of the funds found to be misused were verified to be directed to her companies. They are bound to find a lot more information and names if they continue to dig a little deeper.

Think of this, if the money meant for the Philippines had indeed gone to projects that benefit the country, could it have been possible for the government to actually LOWER taxes because the input of funds into the government to finance the operations of the country is more than enough?  Is it possible that the country could have been out of debt right now?

This Pork Barrel Scheme goes beyond kickbacks.  At least with kickbacks there are REAL projects and the costs are only inflated.  That’s actually bad enough as it is because you only get 1 building, for example, when you could have gotten 2.  However, this is infinitely worse.  In this case there is NO project at all and the funds just disappeared… funneled into ghost projects that benefitted no one.

Senator Jinggoy Estrada cheekily said that they are not required to check on the NGO’s they release their PDAF funds to .  That’s weird.  Let me ask you.  If you give your househelper P1,000.00 for household needs, don’t you expect her to come home with the items needed, a receipt and the change?  If, one day, she comes home without the items, without a receipt and without any cash.  What would you assume?

In the same way, the PDAF allocation was handed over to the politician with the trust of the Filipinos that the money will be used for infrastructure or other projects that benefits the country or its citizens.  It is therefore their responsibility to make sure that money is used in the correct projects that were actually implemented.

Since I first posted on my blog about Janet Napoles and the Pork Barrel Scam, many things have happened.

Janet Napoles is on the run and missing because the arrest warrant has been issued for the illegal detention of her ex-assistant Benhur Luy. The church has warned that she is to be given NO sanctuary if she turns to them for help.

The news agencies have started actively reporting on the scam and Janet Napoles, releasing more and more information for the public who are clamoring to know more. Inquirer has even started a special banner that links you to a summary of all the articles about the Pork Barrel Scam.

It is heartening to see so many news reports about the PDAF Scandal when it was practically silent a few weeks ago.  It is good that more whistleblowers are gaining confidence to release any information they know about the scam as lawyers have volunteered to represent them for free.  It is good that some government officials like Leila de Lima have expressed their determination to fully investigate this scandal and indict solons involved if the evidence points to them.

All the Filipinos want, and deserve, is a full, thorough and completely transparent investigation of the Pork Barrel Scam and all the people involved.  It is not necessary to call for bloody revolution as it is counter-productive to the growth in economy our country is currently enjoying.

Instead, all Filipinos can do is spread the word about this to everyone — rich AND poor — in our circles of influence in order to increase awareness.   People must be made to understand the implications of what has happened and how it affects them.  The people in government must be made to realize that this issue will not go away and the Filipino’s attention will not be diverted.

I’m sure any solons that are innocent can easily provide the necessary receipts, photos or documents to prove that the projects their PDAF went to are legitimate. Their names will then be cleared and the investigation can be focused on other parties.  It is not enough for them to cry innocence and expect to be believed.

It is important for PNoy to fulfill his promise of ZERO tolerance for corruption and order an open investigation if only to renew the trust that has been destroyed by years of corruption.

The Philippines should take a page out of Singapore’s book and their own struggle against corruption.  Their answer: reducing opportunities by increasing the punishments and immediate investigations of even a hint of an allegation of corruption of any public official; and reducing incentives by improving salaries, benefits and working conditions of civil servants. (See full article here).  Why reinvent the wheel if it has already been successfully accomplished by someone else?

Until then, don’t give up on the Philippines.  Change is possible…

Come on President PNoy!  It’s the moment of truth… show us what you’re made of.

——–

Always remember that the future comes one day at a time. – Dean Acheson

Taken from: http://www.brainyquote.com

47 thoughts on “Pork Barrel Scam: Every Filipino’s Concern

  1. Also, please disseminate in tagalog and other dialects. We are here in other parts of the world and it must be explained the effects of this halubalo to the poorest of the poor who do not have access to social media, newspaper and the likes.

    How can we be of help? God help the Filipino people, excluding the corrupt politicians, who continue to live the day acquiring peoples money, enjoying the good life in their expensive mansions, with luxurious cars, with their vices etc.

    We pray that you and others who started this blog, will be blessed and God will send the angels to protect you.

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    • Are any of you good with Dialects? Daniel Rosal makes a good recommendation to translate to dialects but I honestly don’t know any except Tagalog which I’m not that good at either but will try my best.

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    • Yes, agreed. Dapat makaabot ang impormasyong katulad nito to the poorest of the poor,sa paraang mas maiintindihan nila kung paano tayo niloloko ng matagal na panahon na at paano ginagawa ang panloloko para mabago ang isip nila at mabuksan sa katotohanan. Kailangan nilang maintindihan, para mahikayat silang makisalimuha dahil kung hindi madali lang nilang ipagsasa walang bahala ang isyung ito at ita tratong parang natural na kaganapan lang. Magandang ma i-disseminate ito sa mga lugar kung saan marami talaga ang mahihirap pero walang access sa mga ganitong teknolohiya. Paano kaya ito makakarating sa kanila,isipin nyo madaling tawagin sa mga rally ang mga tao basta bigyan mo lang sila ng “tamang idea’ kung ano ang ipinaglalaban nila.

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  2. Filpinos will be in deep, deep, deep shit and the Philippines will not have any hope of getting out of the shit it is in now if Binay becomes the president.

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  3. I’m actually seeing more and more folks interested in this. I guess the difficult hing here is we don’t know how to proceed. With so many people involved, who can we trust?

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    • I agree. Our best move is really to inform the masa about it as best we can as they have the majority vote. If the demand for info doesn’t go away then they will be forced to do some cleaning house.

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    • Tama,paano nga ba talaga?Naiisip ko ang lugar gaya ng “Vaseco” (sorry if I spelled it wrong),maraming population duon,hindi ba’t yun daw ang balwarte ng mga “sikat” sa pulitika kaya lagi silang panalo. Dapat lang talaga malaman nila ito. Saan ba dapat magsimula?

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  4. You can go on and on about who is affected by the corruption in the Phil. govt. We could pay our teachers a decent salary so they don’t have to go abroad as maids leaving their children to grow up nurtured with the wrong values. We could build decent schools with teachers who are well paid who can really teach instead of selling something on the side to augment their salaries. Our doctors, nurses, engineers, accountants, etc. can stay in the country if there are well paying jobs offered by companies and hospitals who can direct their money to growing their business instead of subsidizing politicians. That money could build the infrastructure (in the right places) that could help our farmers bring their products to the end consumers – lowering the cost of food so that more people can be fed. We could pay our civil servants and especially police officers very good salaries so that they can do their job instead of thinking about creative ways to supplement their meager salaries. We could fix our airports, clean our beaches, build clean and functioning toilets, prop up our historical sites so that tourists will come and spend their money in our country. This will then generate new jobs everywhere. This affects every Filipino both in and out of the country. I pray that this scam will cause the change that the Phil. so badly needs.

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  5. Well Said! Then Philippines will need to vote Good Leaders in, hopefully pinoy can improve public education so that the masses can vote Wisely!

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  6. The bad thing here is that we a all acting “after the fact”, and the monies have all been dispersed in whatever way (good or bad) they have deemed appropriate. The threat of international exposure defining the wide spread scam (pork barrel) among lawmakers should make the government take bold steps in investigating and terminating this program altogether. The funds should be located centrally where every project or fund (however big or small) can be investigated for legitimacy. President Noynoy said it once, Transparency is the driving force of good governance. I say drop the pork barrel allocations and keep it centralized instead and include the public in the decision process. That’s what “transparency” is all about.

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  7. Sana mailimbag ang mga revelations na ito sa newspapers at idistribute sa mga mamamayan ng libre. Coz obviously only a few percent of our population can read this since only few have access to the internet. My heart is deeply saddened reading all these kinds of blog, i feel sorry that all i can do is comment on it.

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      • tama ka dyan citizen. I don’t think this is reaching the bigger population or the masa who elected the incompetent senators and congressmen. It is sad that some vote by choosing the popular names like the “artistas” or those who give them a few pesos or gifts during election time. If only some concerned show biz people can bring this up during popular tv shows like Eat Bulaga – ay hindi pala puwede, nandiyan pala ang mga Soto.

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    • You know how some religious sects distribute pamphlets “komiks style” explaining their belief? Ano kaya kung may grupo na mag print ng mga pamphlets in Tagalog explaining “komiks style” what is happening with this scam, how it is being done, how it affects everyone, how it siphons the hard earned money of the working class to fund the lavish lifestyle of the politicians. These can be handed out in strategic points like the LRT, Baclaran, markets or bus and jeepney stops.

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  8. Mga kababayan, dapat magkaisa tayong lahat, dapat ipakita natin na tayong mga mamamayan ay nasusuka na sa kanilang kabalbalang ginagawa, kung maari ulitin natin yung nangyari sa edsa, ipakita natin na dapat na sila kalusin.

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  9. Pingback: Pork Barrel Scam: Every Filipino’s Concern | Clover Field

  10. What is everybody complaining about? This is nothing new it has been done by the Marcoses before. They were dubbed “world class theives”. This is our taxes at work! And in your face! Watch them on facebook or whatever suck it up and live with it. The ploy is to keep the population stupid by making education affordable to only a few, afterall elections are about popularity numbers thats why you have artistas, kamaganak and bla bla sitting in government not statesmen. Why else would people kill to be in these positions? Because they can pocket your taxes, get it? So don’t pay taxes!

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    • Hi Angelica:

      I’m not an expert on politics but from what I understand, the Pork barrel was established in order to distribute the funds from the national treasury evenly to all the cities and provinces through the congress and senate since the funds can be used for projects to develop and better the lives of the constituents of the politicians.

      Unfortunately, this program DOES NOT WORK as it was intended as the funds are not monitored and liquidated properly. Instead of going to projects to develop the provinces, cities or towns that the congressmen or senators represent, SOME politicians have taken advantage of the lack of transparency and the money has instead gone into GHOST projects in order to enrich themselves. This has made it possible for SOME politicians to use the PDAF funds for their lavish lifestyles or use it to fund their own campaigns so they can get re-elected.

      Now… how does that directly affect ordinary citizens and businesses?
      It affects us DIRECTLY because the citizens DO NOT get the benefit of our tax money.

      Instead of millions of Filipinos benefitting from our taxes, it has instead benefitted ONE family.

      The money COULD HAVE been used for beautiful roads, Public hospitals to service more Filipinos, public schools to educate more of the citizens, a state-of-the-art sewage system so there’s NO flooding, it could have been spent on subway system for public transport… the list goes on and on… our lives could have been drastically improved if that money (which is in the billions) were used to improve infrastructure or into legitimate projects instead.

      Look at all the poor people in our country… that money could have gone to housing programs and livelihood programs for them and better their lives.

      We ARE a rich country .. but became poor because of corruption.

      That’s why this corruption HAS to stop.

      Thanks so much for asking Angelica. :D I am so glad you are interested in this.. I hope I was able to help you understand…

      Feel free to ask more questions.

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      • Here is what I understand of PDAF. I read some articles that stated it was established under Cory’s time with the intent of keeping the support of the congress and senate strong towards the president (because at that time it was rife with coup attempts). Cory promised all the legislators a cut of the national treasury for their personal projects and cities in exchange for their support. I don’t think she meant for it to be “stolen” but more of a chance to implement their personal projects.

        Now, the PDAF is also used to ensure the congress and senate will TOE the line and follow the direction of the executive branch. This is why there are articles coming out that PNoy might become a lame duck president if he does abolish the PDAF.

        Sometimes, promises of additional funds taken from the presidential fund also guarantees support… there are speculations that Corona was impeached because of the release of such funds. But that’s merely speculation.

        In effect, the PDAF, as discretionary funds, are not monitored at all and are used as “aces” to the political game… which makes it prone also to theft and a source of corruption. In other words, if you follow my rule, you get more funds.

        Maybe the politicians feel it is part of their benefit already as this apparently has been the practice for years. Nakasanayan na kasi so it doesn’t feel wrong anymore which is why most people want this whole thing scrapped.

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      • I personally think that the politicians managed to find a loophole in the way the system works and they took advantage of it to make themselves richer. It’s greed and THEFT, pure and simple. I feel the only way to ensure it won’t happen again is follow the singaporean way: Freedom of Information Act… and Even a hint of corruption opens their politicians lives to a very public and thorough scrutiny with immediate harsh punishments if found guilty.

        Sa dami kasi ng ninakaw nila, naging pobre ang bayan at sobrang daming tao naghihirap kasi hindi nabibigyan ng tamang edukasyon at health care kung saan dapat ginastos ang pera.

        At least ngayon naglalaglagan na silang lahat… lumalabas na ang mga baho. It’s up to us to keep up the pressure to ensure that this won’t be forgotten.. dapat lahat sila managot sa ginawa nilang kagaguhan.

        Salamat Khyla sa iyong interest…. the Philippines needs more people like you.

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  11. May pakelam ako kasi nagbabayad ako ng taxes. I’m working my ass off every night para ano? Para i-feed lahat ng bisyo at luho ng mga pamilya ng mga senador at kongresista na yan? Ganun na lang ba yun ma’am/sir? Pakapalan ng mukha. Mga nakaupo sa posisyong hindi niyo naman talaga deserve. Pag may nakakakitang iba, masipag! Mabait! Pag wala na? Ano? Nganga. Kaming mga normal na tao ay nagtatrabaho para sa kakainin ng mga pamilya namin araw araw. Pero sa isang pagkakamali lang, naatanggal kami sa trabaho. Dapat ganun din sa senado. Pagtatanggalin yan. Hindi dapat mag-hearing sa senado. Ididiin lang nila si Napoles. Kahit na ang totoo, sila talaga ang matinding nakinabang sa tax na binayaran ko ng dalawang taon. Ako pa lang yan ah. Ilan tayong may mga trabaho na buwan buwan nagbabayad ng pagkalaki-laking tax? Madami. Madaming madami. Pero san napupunta?sa mga bulsa ng bawat isa sa kanila.

    Oo na. Nagtatrabaho lang din sila. But that doesn’t give them any right para nakawin, agawin at gastusin lang sa mga mamahaling bagay na ipinangyayabang lang nila sa kung sino sino! Tayong mga nag-alay ng pawis, dugo, lalo na sa tulad naming mga call center agents. Puyat ang puhunan namin tapos nanakawan pa kami? Mga kaltas na nakaprinta sa mga payslip namin tulad ng SSS at yang PAG-IBIG pero ang totoo nasa bulsa na pala ng kung sino man na kongresista o senador.

    Let’s all help out each other. Kelangan ikalat natin ‘to. Kelangan malamang ng lahat ng Pilipinolalo na ng mga maliliit na taong nagtatrabaho na nakakaltasan pa ng buwis. Kelangan natin magtulong tulong para ipaglaban ang karapatan ng bawat isa.

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    • tama!! ipaglaban natin ang ating mga karapatan… dapat maalis na sa pwesto nila ang mga kongresista at mga senador na yan!! mga walang puso……!!!!
      mga mayayabang akala mo kung sinong malinis yun pala kabilang sa mga madudumi ang pag iisip at mga magnanakaw!!!!!

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  12. I wanted to post this on reddit first, but I decided to put it here under your care, having been a precursor to the social media awareness regarding the PDAF scam.

    I am posting this to make the Filipino people aware of what is happening internally in the Department of Budget and Management right now. DBM Secretary Butch Abad will be making his move soon, regarding the PDAF, Malampaya, and the DAP issues.

    Abad has planned to implicate and use someone else as a scapegoat in order to be free from the PDAF and other budgetary allegations involving him and the Aquino administration. His scapegoat will be the Undersecretary in charge of operations in DBM.

    As the USEC of operations, Notice of Cash Allocations (NCA) and SARO (Special Allotment Release Orders), plus other budgetary executions go through him **under the authority of the Secretary**. What does this mean? SARO and NCA won’t be issued without the proper go signal of the secretary. It is only a due and legal process for these documents to go through the USec of operations to confirm that all documents have the necessary requirements before releasing.

    However, Abad does not see it that way. Even if USec can defend himself as just someone following protocol, and following orders of his boss, the Secretary of DBM, it will all be moot. Abad will implicate him under the guise of the USec’s seniority. The said USec is currently the longest-staying USec in the DBM’s present plantilla. Therefore, Abad has enough reason to say that this scapegoat (the USec of operations) knows the loopholes in DBM after all these years of stay in the said department. Abad does not have a single shred of evidence to back this up, but he is still confident enough that this unjust reasoning will win.

    The blame will be passed to this USec of operations, under false pretenses, via trial by publicity, and via trial by court. When in fact, Abad as the final signatory is the real executor of the funds release.

    Abad has already taken primary steps in realizing this goal. He has stripped the USec of all work and passed it to a different Assistant Secretary (ASec). An NBI officer is stationed in front of the USec’s office, checking who goes in and out. And Abad has painstakingly found ways to avoid conversing or even walking the same floor tile the USec does, in order to avoid any confrontation.

    Abad’s final step will take place soon enough. And the USec will be blamed for Abad’s corrupt ways.

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  13. nakakainis isipin.. mga pamilya natin naghihirap para may makain araw araw tapos sila hayahay sa buhay…ang kapal talaga ng mga mukha!!!!

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    • I agree with you. The problem is the pork barrel system as it is na walang checks and balances, discretionary kasi, so no one can question where they decide to give the cash… is too tempting … so ang nangyari, mga kurakot ang tumatakbong politiko.

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  14. bakit nyo naman idadamay si pnoy na siya lng naman ang namumuno ng ating bansa………..imbis na tulungan natin si pnoy na malutas ang pork barel sa ating bansa ay inyo pa siyang idadamay sa pork barel…….siya nga ang kumikilos na malutas intong isyo nato…………

    Like

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