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Zero-poverty Batanes got more ‘per capita allocation’ than poverty-stricken region

12:13 AM August 23, 2014

Based on the Department of Budget and Management’s (DBM) report on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), which can be found on its website, I added up the allocations for Basco, Batanes, and divided the total by the recorded number of inhabitants of that area to arrive at the “per capita allocation” or the amount each individual—adult or child—would have hypothetically received as his or her share of the pie. I did the same with the allocations for the whole Eastern Visayas as the DBM was not very particular in its allocation by municipality.

Guess what? Basco received a total of P20.610 million from the DAP. With a very small population of 7,907 (as of 2010), each Basco resident would have received P2,606. Not a princely sum considering that the amount was spread over a span of more than two years (October 2011-December 2013).

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But hold on to your seats. The whole of Eastern Visayas got P932.87 million. But if you divide this by the region’s population of 4.1 million, this would translate to only P227 per capita allocation for the same duration. Pathetic!

Batanes, as many know, is the base of the Abad political dynasty and the home province of Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, one of President Aquino’s trusted lieutenants. In 2006, Batanes was reported to have zero-poverty incidence. On the other hand, according to the National Statistical Coordinating Board’s pre-“Yolanda” statistics, Eastern Samar province in Eastern Visayas had a poverty incidence of  59.4 percent, which is the highest next only to Lanao del Sur and Apayao in the country. After Yolanda, it would not be surprising if the province is now the poorest province.

The DAP going to the poor? Come on!!! (Pronounced “kaman,” ala Winnie Monsod shaking the head from side to side.)

As what many Filipinos are seeing again and again, our political system is shot to hell due to political patronage; whoever is in power uses the people’s (not government’s) money to gratify preferred allies and constituents, or even themselves. Never mind the genuinely poor more deserving of such favor. It is a major characteristic of what activists point to as one of the major social ills of Philippine society—“bureaucrat capitalism.”

What can the blundering Mr. Aquino, Abad and cohorts do to solve this national headache? They probably know the honorable way some Asians have chosen after brining shame upon themselves and their country—resign. Honorable Japanese officials and citizens resort to a more drastic solution. But, of course, our officials are not Japanese. But, then again, they can always choose to change their citizenship.

—FERDINAND R. GAITE,

national president,

Confederation for Unity, Recognition

and Advancement of Government Employees, (Courage), [email protected]

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TAGS: Batanes, dap, DBM, letters to the editor, opinion, Poverty
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