WINNIE THE POOH’S BEST FRIEND

February 24, 2007 : Saturday 

Salome Saro 

 

WINNIE THE POOH’S BEST FRIEND

Binaboy mo ko!

Kung hei fat choi!

Magkano kilo ng baboy?

Kung hei fat choi!

Tinutukso nila kong baboy…

Kung hei fat choi!

When you drive a car, have you been annoyed with those bumpy roads?

When you go to your public hospital, can you endure those substandard apparatus and services?

When you have to go to your school library, have you found books that suffice what you need?

How I wish pork is being used to aid our nation’s ailment.

But the question here is how many percentage of it is being used up for public concern?

You may label it anything you want…

Countrywide Development Fund (CDF), or Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), or pork barrel, or simply pork…

But the essence of it never change, it is of public, for public, and by public…

Have you seen those banner, streamers, posters, or billboards of those swollen with pride senators or congressmen alongside roads showing up the projects they said of them?

Hello!!!!!! Are they okay????

It’s not their project!!! It’s ours!!!

The money used to fund those road repairs, water irrigations, electrification and livelihood projects are not of them!

That is people’s money and it’s our project!

Are you in wonder why it worded pork barrel?

            The term “pork barrel” says US pundit William Safire, is derived from a practice during pre-civil war in the United States when the masters would give their black slaves salted pork in barrel. In 1919, a US journalist wrote: “oftentimes, the eagerness of the slaves would result in a rush upon the pork barrel, in which each would strive to grab as much as possible for himself.”

Members of congress, in their rush to get their local appropriated items… behaved so much like Negro slaves rushing to the pork barrel.

Eighteen years later, the scene in the Philippines congress does not seem much different. In early 1998, newly appointed Finance Secretary Salvador Enriquez told the reporters that up to 45% of pork barrel funds may have been lost to commissions.

The allocations have become magnets of greed.

Robbery is done by powerful through cuts or kickbacks in the form of commissions, rebates or discounts.

The results are substandard projects or products of questionable quality. Freshly delivered medicine to local health centers reach their expiration dates all too quickly, and roads and bridges never seem to be near completion, or are already in repair a few months after they are finally finished.

Perhaps that is why Erap had a plan to get rid the pork barrel allocation. Marcos also dared to wrest the pork barrel from the clutches of the legislators. He did this by proclaiming martial law in 1972 and abolishing congress, thereby getting rid of the allocation that had been in existence in the Philippines since 1920s. Then, in 2004, Drilon called for a total overhaul of the PDAF. In 2004 and 2005, the pork barrel was reduced to 40 million from 70 million for each member of the House and to 120 million from 200 million for each senator.

But the abolition of the pork barrel is not the only way to help our country to recover to any financial crisis.

There is another better option, and that is apparently to put a ceiling on and make more transparent the utilization of the pork.

If these pork are in the right trail to help out us, these funds will facilitate equalize matter for places. Without these discretionary pots of public money made available to legislators, they say, such areas would continue to suffer from underdevelopment and a lack of access to services of national agencies.

What needed is c-o-n-s-c-i-e-n-t-i-o-u-s   u-t-i-l-i-z-a-t-i-o-n.

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