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Keep lawmakers’ hands out of public coffers

09:01 AM May 08, 2019

With or without the pork barrel controversies during this year’s enactment of the national budget, our “honorable” lawmakers should not have been allowed any access to, let alone control over, any public funds in the first place.

Their main role is undeniably crafting laws, not handling or mishandling taxpayer money. Just imagine how our political system would have fared a lot better if our legislators and government officials could be refrained from dipping their fingers into the public coffers!

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Having no funds at their disposal, our lawmakers would have passed more effective laws, and those in public office delivered better services as their sensibilities are drawn away from the lure of amassing ill-gotten wealth.

Our politicians, realizing there’s no “easy” money in public service, may think millions of times before splurging on election campaigns — or running, if not cheating or killing one another — to get elected and perpetuate themselves in power.

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In fact, the more rapacious of them would find government service no longer lucrative and eventually quit, thereby giving way to less greedy, more dedicated and more idealistic public servants in our midst.

Moreover, take away pork barrel for real, and expect a dwindling number of husbands and wives, their children and relatives alternately or summarily occupying (or simply enjoying the perks of) elected or appointed posts in government. Without “pork,” would political dynasties have survived and proliferated all these years?

Keep public funds safely away from the hands of the thieves and plunderers. Better still, have the taxpayer money funneled back—in the form of more essential goods and services—to where it rightfully belongs: the Filipino people.

And yes, let’s prosecute and punish — not set free — those found to have misused public funds, and have their loot recovered. The faster, the better.

Otherwise, is there still any peaceful option an impoverished, overtaxed and probably outraged citizenry could resort to?

MANUEL A. COLLAO, [email protected]

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TAGS: Inquirer letters, lawmakers, Manuel A. Collao, Public Funds
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