Filipino-Americans Call for Scrapping of Presidential Pork Worth P1.3 Trillion, Join International Day of Outrage Actions
“President Aquino is no genuine crusader against corruption if he won’t scrap the largest pork barrel sum of all– his own,” states Bernadette Ellorin, chair of the US Chapter of Bayan. “Government is public service, not big business. That is why we in the US are still pushing through with joining the International Day of Outrage in tandem with the August 26 Luneta Park protest.”
In a report entitled Prime Cuts: Dissecting the Presidential Pork Barrel, released by Kabataan Party List, the Philippine National Expenditure Program allocates up to P1.3 trillion in public funds to the president’s sole discretion.
This lump-sum for the president is composed of the Special Purpose Funds (SPFs) worth P310 billion, Unprogrammed Funds worth P139 billion and Automatic Appropriations worth P796 billion; questionable in-budget line items including funds for intelligence and confidential expenses worth P1.4 billion, PAMANA funds worth P7.22 billion, Conditional Cash Transfer Funds worth P62.6 billion, and funding for Bottom-Up Budgeting worth P20 billion. The report also included funds from realigned savings and “hidden funds” worth anywhere between P56 billion to P113 billion.
“Scrapping the PDAF does not abolish the pork barrel system. It only scratches the surface of a much deeper, systemic problem of rampant graft and corruption that contributes directly to deepening the poverty level of the country and to the misery of Filipinos struggling to survive this economic crisis. The people must unite and take a definitive, consistent stand against corruption. We should stand for nothing less than total abolishment the pork barrel system, and immediate re-channeling of public funds to basic social services for the Filipino people. All those in public office who live lavishly over these funds, including Aquino himself, while millions of Filipino families continue to suffer, starve, and sacrifice must be held accountable,” Ellorin ended.
BAYAN USA organizations will join actions across the US on Sunday, August 25 and Monday, August 26, while its mother alliance, BAYAN Philippines, leads actions in Luneta Park in Manila on Monday.