How to rid body politic of pork
This refers to the article titled “Abad: Budget free of pork” (Front Page, 11/26/14).
Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago asked why members of the House of Representatives were asked earlier this year “to submit lists of projects they endorsed for their districts.” She described the practice as “pork barrelism.”
With all the suggestions on what to do with the pork barrel, ranging from abolishing it to replacing the system of lump-sum appropriations, to one-line-item budget system, please allow me to share the following unsolicited ideas:
- Require all government units to abide by the provisions of Republic Act No. 7160 (the Local Government Code of 1991), particularly on the accreditation of nongovernment organizations, civil societies and people’s organizations as a prerequisite to their membership to local special bodies like the local development council, local health board, local school board and local peace and order council.
- Require all congressmen to designate their representatives to the local development councils and for them to attend religiously the meetings of these councils.
- Require the barangay development councils to submit their identified priority development projects that require additional funding, in the form of resolutions, to the municipal or city development councils.
- Require the municipal or city development councils to submit their resolutions to the provincial development councils on projects that need augmentation fund.
- Require all provincial or city development councils to submit to the National Economic and Development Authority resolutions covering projects that require funding from the national government.
- Require the congressmen to submit all these resolutions to Congress for one-line budgeting; and bar congressmen from submitting personal priority projects that have not been identified by the local development councils.
- All completed or status projects as proposed by the local development councils should be reported during the state of the municipality or city address of the mayor, or during barangay assemblies.
- Require the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to adopt the policy of requiring NGOs to submit copies of certificates of accreditation from the sanggunian (local government councils) as a prerequisite for the issuance of their SEC registration.
- Any local government unit which does not comply with these requirements shall not receive their internal revenue allotments.
- Any congressman who does not submit resolutions of local development councils to Congress shall not be allowed to participate in the budgeting process.
These are but few of my unsolicited views. I am willing to take part in any technical working group that may be tasked to come up with suggestions on how to get rid of the pork barrel, especially on lump-sum appropriations.
—REGINALD B. TAMAYO, assistant city council secretary, Marikina City
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