Quantcast

Abolish pork, end patronage politics


At the height of the typhoon season, “Spring” arrived in the Philippines. Like a bolt from the sky, the outrage over the plunder of the people’s money via the pork barrel system surprised everyone, including the administration of President Aquino. For the first time, P-Noy faces a formidable, if ironic, challenge to his anticorruption rhetoric.

With the success of the Million People March and with protests still accumulating momentum, P-Noy should heed the resounding cry of his bosses—Abolish, not just reform the pork barrel system. Reforming or renaming the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) will not placate citizens angered by the wanton theft of tax money.

Meanwhile, workers appeal to antipork protesters not to stop at abolition but to push for an alternative fund distribution system in which social services will be as accessible as a right and not subject to the patronage of politicians. The antipork protest should develop into a movement for universal social protection and also converge with the anti-epal, anti-trapo and anti-dynasty advocacies of the last elections. Such is a roadmap towards lasting political change in our country. Abolishing the pork barrel will open a gate leading to the weakening, if not the destruction, of patronage politics; and then to the building of a party system where politicians identify themselves with distinct platforms and policies.

Thus the Partido ng Manggagawa is advocating an “Apat na Dapat” set of demands to address the pork barrel scandal. First, abolish all forms of pork barrel, principally the PDAF, the Presidential Social Fund (PSF) and the special purpose funds which are all lump sum and discretionary. Second, transfer such funds to finance universal social protection like PhilHealth coverage, public employment, disaster relief and climate mitigation. Third, implement people’s participation in the budget process from identification of programs and projects to evaluation. And last, enact the Freedom of Information Law to enhance transparency and accountability in government spending.

The government’s budget for social services is less than the United Nations target of 6 percent of the gross domestic product. As an example, the proposed P25.2-billion PDAF in 2014 can pay for the annual PhilHealth premiums of 14 million Filipinos, a third of the adult population. The rest can be covered by funding their PhilHealth from funds freed by abolishing the PSF and other presidential pork. In this way, we can attain universal health insurance overnight.

Workers do not just want to curb corruption by abolishing the pork barrel. We also want to curtail patronage by removing the discretion of politicians in the delivery of social services. Public services must be accessible to all Filipinos as a right without the need to curry favor from politicians. The urban and rural poor have enough of begging from the trapo for measly guaranty letters. It is time to cut the dependency relations fostered by the pork barrel and patronage politics.

—RENATO MAGTUBO,

chair, Partido ng Manggagawa,

manggagawa@gmail.com


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Short URL: http://opinion.inquirer.net/?p=60887

Tags: antipork protest , letters , patronage politics , PDAF , pork barrel scam , presidential social fund

  • pedronimo

    Politics: Primary Problems of the Philippines’= palakasan, poverty, palusot, and of course, pork



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

  • 4 Etihad passengers not yet located
  • DAR to complete installation of Luisita land reform beneficiaries in May
  • Ex-COA chief and co-accused in Arroyo plunder case nabbed
  • Kris Aquino’s ex- close in security named new Air Force chief
  • The ‘link diagram’ that killed ex-Bataan police officer
  • Sports

  • NLEX holds off Jumbo Plastic for a playoff berth
  • Pacquiao can dodge tax issues
  • F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone rejects bribery charges
  • Big Chill freezes Cafe France to arrest skid
  • Pacquiao has to go through PBA Rookie draft
  • Lifestyle

  • Summer Mayhem: The ultimate beach experience
  • A haven for steak lovers
  • Gongs and southern dances star in a workshop at San Francisco Bayanihan Center
  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • Entertainment

  • Smithsonian wants photos, videos for ‘Day in the Life of Asian Pacific Americans’
  • What Garcia Marquez left behind
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Business

  • Metro Pacific acquires stake in Victorias
  • How ‘one percent’ economic elite was uncovered
  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Technology

  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Tiff with HK over Luneta hostage fiasco finally over
  • DOLE sees more Filipinos hired by South Koreans
  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  • Fil-Am youth conferences unite under one theme
  • Marketplace