"The world suffers a lot. Not because of the violence of bad people, But because of the silence of good people!" - Napoleon

Friday, August 23, 2013

ON PRESIDENT AQUINO'S STATEMENT ON THE ABOLITION OF PDAF



President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III has finally announced that it is time to abolish the Priority Development Assistance Fund or PDAF, colloquially known as pork barrel. I perceive it as a move to avert the anti-pork barrel rallies that are gaining momentum in major cities of the country. Of course, he cannot afford an unrest, considering that the Philippine economy has just received positive reviews lately.

According to the President, PDAF has a noble intention and, as envisioned, it was supposed to empower the members of the House of Representatives to identify projects that cannot be funded by the local government units. What made it deplorable is the connivance among some people to enrich themselves out of the funds. 
So he announced that it is now time to abolish the PDAF and to draft a mechanism to ensure that the funds for the Representatives' projects will not be abused.

At first, I was elated. I was ecstatic! So the President listened after all! When the confetti has settled, my brows were knitted.

Why am I not so happy with this? Why am I being skeptical?

For one, in reality, the PDAF will not be totally abolished. It will only be repackaged, given a new name, under a new system, with new mechanics. But it is still the same! The legislators will still be receiving the money, they will still have a direct or indirect say on how the money will be used for "projects". Do you think, with the wisdom of these 'honorable' people, they cannot circumvent the system and divert the money to their pockets and bank accounts with tighter security that cannot be easily discovered? 

I welcome the President's pronouncement that those who are liable will be brought before the courts. It is a must. It is what should be done. But then again, we know how a little technicality can make a guilty person appear innocent. We have the most brilliant lawyers in the world, mind you!

Why not just totally scrap the pork?? Is it really hard to understand that legislators are supposed to draft laws and not sponsor projects? Why not give the funds to the appropriate departments? Let COA get busy with DPWH, DepEd, DOH, and others! Let the House of Representatives and the Senate focus on passing relevant laws! It is not their duty as legislators to fund projects that cannot be funded by LGUs. So there is a law which authorizes them to receive and allocate funds for such projects. Okay. Scrap that law. Scrap the law that grants them the right to receive PDAF. It's that simple.

So how many weeks or months shall we give them before we see evidences of corruption again? I tell you, it will not take a year. They are that good. So, President Noynoy, if you want to see real change in the congress and in the senate, if you want to disarm the crocs, totally abolish PDAF or whatever-it's-called-next.

Don't give them the money, please, for heaven's sake! We have too much! We can already tell what's going to happen. Are you going to let history repeat itself again and again? 

Below is the full text of the President's statement in Filipino. For the English version, click here.


STATEMENT OF HIS EXCELLENCY BENIGNO S. AQUINO III, PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES, ON THE ABOLITION OF PDAF AND BUDGETARY REFORMS, MALACA√ĎAN PALACE, MANILA, AUGUST 23, 2013

Taong 1990 nang binuo ang tinatawag na nating PDAF ngayon para sa isang marangal na layunin: Ang bigyang-lakas ang inyong mga Kinatawan sa Kongreso, upang tumukoy ng mga proyektong hindi kayang pondohan ng mga LGU. Wala pong mali o masama sa polisiyang ito. Ang mali, ang masama, at ang siya ngang ikinagagalit ng taumbayan, ay ang pagsasabwatan sa pagitan ng isang pangulong handang makipagtransaksyon para manatili sa kapangyarihan; mga mambabatas handang makipagkuntsabahan; kung nariyan ang kooperasyon ng burukrasya; at mga mamamayang tila namanhid na sa panlalapastangang ginagawa sa kanila-- kung nagsama-sama po ang mga sangkap na ito, maaaring maabuso ang PDAF. Kailangan nating maniguradong hindi na maaabuso ang sistema.

Akala po ng iba, pera nila ang PDAF, na puwedeng gastusin kung paano nila gusto. Pero mali po ito: Pera ng bayan ang pinag-uusapan dito, at sa bayan dapat-- at hindi sa iilang gahaman lamang-- ang pakinabang nito. Nakakagimbal nga po ang mga rebelasyon tulad ng mga nakapaloob sa COA Special Audit Report ukol sa paggamit ng PDAF noong 2007 hanggang 2009, na inilabas nitong nakaraang linggo. Dalawang bagay po ang malinaw na kailangan nating gawin sa panahong ito.

Una, ang panagutin ang mga umabuso sa sistema. Kahapon, iniulat ko sa inyo: Inatasan ko ang DOJ, sampu ng lahat ng ahensya ng ehekutibo sa ilalim ng Inter-Agency Anti-Graft Coordinating Council, o IAAGCC, na mag-aambagan at magtutulungan upang mapabilis ang proseso, mula sa imbestigasyon, hanggang sa pag-usig, hanggang sa pagpapakulong, at pati na ang pagbawi ng ilegal na yaman. Malinaw ang aking direktiba sa lahat ng ahensya at kawani ng gobyerno: Ibigay ang inyong buong tulong at kooperasyon upang mahanap ang katotohanan, at nang mapanagot ang dapat managot.

Buong-buo po ang kumpiyansa ko sa integridad nina Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, Kalihim Leila M. de Lima ng DOJ, at Chairperson Grace Pulido-Tan ng COA; alam kong wala silang kikilingan. Kinakatawan nila ang panunumbalik ng tiwala ng publiko sa mga institusyong kanilang pinamumunuan.

Iyan po ang balangkas ng ating unang layunin. Ang ikalawa: maghanap ng mas mainam na paraan upang siguruhing ang pera ng taumbayan ay mapupunta sa taumbayan lamang. Lilinawin ko po: Simula pa lamang, pilit na tayong nagpapasok ng reporma upang bawasan ang diskresyon, na siyang ugat ng labis at maling paggamit ng PDAF. Naniniwala tayo: kung hayag ang proseso, mababawasan din ang pang-aabuso sa sistema. Inatas po nating itala sa Pambansang Budget kung magkano ang PDAF na natatanggap ng bawat mambabatas, at ipinagbawal na rin natin ang congressional insertions. Partikular na lamang ang menu na puwedeng paglagyan ng PDAF, hindi katulad dati kung kailan inilalagay lamang ito sa kung saan-saan. Hinihingi na rin natin ang mga detalye ng proyekto, di gaya ng nakaraan kung kailan kahit malawak ang depinisyon ay naaaprubahan ito. Real time na ring ina-upload sa website ng DBM ang listahan ng proyektong napopondohan ng PDAF, kaya't malaya itong nabubusisi ng madla. Pagdating naman sa bidding, lahat ng bid notices at awards ay nakapaskil na rin sa Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System o PhilGEPS.

Naalala ko nga po noong Senador ako. Ang budget, nakalaan para sa January 1 hanggang December 31. Noong 2007, naaprubahan ito, Abril na. Ibig sabihin, mula Enero hanggang Abril, carry over ang budget mula sa nakaraang taon. Di ba makatuwiran na dahil na-reenact ang budget, tanggalin na rin sa budget ang pondo para sa mga buwan na nakalipas at nagastusan na? Natalo ang mungkahi ko-- kaya bumoto ako ng "No" sa budget ng 2007. Tinatayang 36 billion ang biglang naging savings noong taong ito-- saan naman po kaya napunta ito?

Kaya nga po, mula nang maupo tayo, maaga na ring isinusumite at inaaprubahan ang budget, upang hindi na ito paulit-ulit na ma-reenact, na maaari ring magamit bilang instrumento ng pang-aabuso. Sa araw matapos ang SONA, isinusumite na namin ito sa Kongreso; naaaprubahan po nila ito bago matapos ang taon, kaya't nabawasan na rin ang pagkakataong makalikot ito at mapagkakitaan.

Sa kabila po ng mga repormang ito, nakita natin sa mga ulat na lumabas nitong mga nakaraang linggo: kailangan pa ng mas malaking pagbabago upang labanan ang mga talagang pursigidong abusuhin ang sistema. Panahon na po upang i-abolish ang PDAF. 

Ngayon, bubuo tayo ng bagong mekanismo upang matugunan ang pangangailangan ng inyong mga mamamayan at sektor-- sa paraang tapat, gamit ang tama at makatuwirang proseso, at nang may sapat na mga kalasag laban sa pang-aabuso at katiwalian.

Katuwang nina Senate President Frank Drilon at Speaker Sonny Belmonte, sisiguruhin kong bawat mamamayan at sektor ay makakakuha ng patas na bahagi ng pambansang budget para sa serbisyong pangkalusugan, scholarship, proyektong lumilikha ng kabuhayan, at lokal na imprastruktura. Makakapagmungkahi ng proyekto ang inyong mga mambabatas, ngunit kailangan itong idaan sa proseso ng pagbubuo ng budget. Kung maaprubahan, itatala ang mga ito bilang mga line item, alinsunod sa mga programa ng Pambansang Pamahalaan. Mapapaloob ito sa batas bilang Pambansang Budget-- hihimayin ang bawat linya, bawat piso, bawat proyekto, gaya ng lahat ng iba pang programa ng inyong pamahalaan.

Dagdag pa rito, ang mga proyekto, at ang pagre-release ng budget para sa mga ito, ay magkakaroon ng mga sumusunod na patakaran laban sa katiwalian:

1. Itutuloy natin: Kailangang manggaling sa isang limitadong menu ang mga proyektong popondohan.

2. Ngayon, bawal na ang mga consumable na soft project tulad ng fertilizers, punla, gamot, medical kits, pustiso, paliga, training materials, at iba pang mga bagay na hindi masusuri kung totoo ngang may kinahihinatnan, o kung nagmumulto at pinagkakakitaan lang naman pala.

3. Ngayon, bawal na rin ang mga panandaliang imprastruktura, o kaya'y mga dredging, desilting, regraveling, o asphalt overlay project.

4. Ngayon, bawal na ring padaanin ang pondo sa mga NGO at piling GOCC tulad ng ZREC at NABCOR. Bubuwagin na po ang mga GOCC na ito at iba pang tulad nila, na paulit-ulit na ginamit sa kuntsabahan, at parang wala namang ibang silbi kundi ang maging instrumento ng katiwalian.

5. Ngayon, limitado na sa distrito o sektor ng mambabatas na nag-sponsor ang kanyang panukalang proyekto.

6. Ipagpapatuloy natin ang tapat at bukas na bidding para sa bawat proyekto; kailangang ipaskil sa Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System o PhilGEPS ang lahat ng mga bid notices at awards.

7. Patuloy din po: Upang masubaybayan ng taumbayan ang implementasyon ng mga proyekto, ihahayag ito nang buo sa website ng DBM at kaukulang ahensya, pati na sa National Data Portal ng gobyerno (www.data.gov.ph).

Inatasan ko na si Secretary Abad ng DBM na kumonsulta kina Speaker Belmonte at Senate President Drilon upang pandayin ang mekanismo, at isumite ito sa akin. Ilalatag natin ito upang ang mga alokasyon sa bawat distrito ay mapabilang na sa ating Pambansang Budget simula sa panukalang budget ng 2014.

Gagana lamang po ang sistemang ito kung makikiisa at makikilahok kayo. Ihahayag po nang buo ang impormasyon; suyurin at kilitasin po natin ito. Nananawagan akong makiambag at magsikap ang bawat isa, gaya ng pakikiambag at pagsisikap ng inyong gobyerno. Sama-sama nating pagtibayin ang pananagutan at katapatan, upang masigurong ang pera ng bayan ay ginugugol sa paraang makatarungan at tunay ninyong napapakinabangan.

Maraming salamat, at magandang araw.




8 comments:

  1. tama ka po, di nila trabaho ang mag-isip ng projects. doon sa amin, yong kongresman namin mas madalas pa sa pinapagawang kalsada kuno. ni minsan di namin narinig man lang ang pangalan sa news tungkol sa work nya as kongresman. dapat nag DPWH na lang sya!

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  2. abuso na sila! di talaga kayang i-give up ang kaban ng bayan ano? makikita niyo, may katapusan din kayo!

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  3. There are five(5) senators and twenty three(23) congressman that were seen by ninth(9th) Whistle blower receiving money from janet napoles. Those politicians are stealing money from PDAF fund for over ten years. The President, Department of Justice, NBI, etc. should seriously focus their attention to this pork barrel scam.Since when they put those corrupt politician and officials in jail without bailbond, retrieve the money they have steal from people , this is a very big accomplishment for Filipino and a good sign that our Land is moving forward into Good Government . I should say that the following are reference action to those corrupt officials.
    1.0 The testimony of ninth whistleblower must be put in writing, audio and video recorded all interviews, and signed and witness by Approved party such as NBI, Dept. of justice, etc. .
    2.0 After the interview, the NBI and other Government agency should look up and gather all evidence for those people involved in scam.
    3.0 The Department of Justice or any Attorney,etc., should verify if the evidence is sufficient for this serious crimes. Upon verification that evidence is sufficient, they should release an order to DFA to hold the passport and prevent them to escape in this Land.They should file a warrant of arrest in order to put those people involved in custody which follow full interrogation in order to support and verify participation, etc..
    4.0 People involved on this serious crime must be full surveillance by NBI supported by DOJ and Office of the President.This is to anticipate escape of them from our Law and escape in this land.
    5.0 COA and DBM Officials and Operator involved must be known and must faced criminal charges.
    6.0 If sufficient evidence to those corrupt officials,politicians,operator, then the hearing must be limited. They must be sentenced immediately ,put behind bar without bail. All wealth of them including their families should be investigated and if found suspicious, the Government should sequester their wealth immediately.
    7.0 All funds,money that will be sequester,collected,gathered to all corrupt people should be added to our next year budget.
    8.0 For the meantime, tax will be limited to all people, not too much budget for project, except school,bahay ampunan, mga pabahay sa mahihirap,calamity fund, pag aayos ng nasirang tulay or anything which is prime and important things to do and to accomplished immediately for the
    People.Say tax for the meantime will be 5 percent only , sufficient for the government employed people and some important things to do in that year.
    9.0 This next year budget to be figure out and to be publish, review by people, and comment by people, and approved by people thru rally attendance signed with fingerprint and photoshot for Luzon,Visayas and Mindanao.this event to be publish.
    10.0 There will be no more big or medium projects to be implemented from this point of time. The government should complete the dismantling of all corrupt polititians, officials,operators,responsible for projects, bring those people to jail, sentence them all, sequester their steal fund from the people .see part 2

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  4. See part 1


    11.0 Senators and congressman to be abolished. Provincial and town projects to be handled by Governor ,Mayors,Captains,and Councillor.
    12.0 The proposed projects must be reviewed by two bodies, government and independent private body.
    13.0 The ongoing projects to be monitored by COA, Private individual, DBM,Public Individual. All ongoing projects to be publish in Newspaper and or website to be created by the government.
    14.0 COA procedure in monitoring the projects should be reviewed by People,commented by People, and approved by People and the last is Dept. of justice,President,etc. Approved procedure to be published.
    15.0 DBM procedure in monitoring the projects should be reviewed by People,commented by People, and approved by People and the last is Dept. of justice,President,etc. Approved procedure to be published.
    16.0 DBM procedure in awarding and issuing the budget for the project to Private Group should be reviewed by People,commented by People, and approved by People and the last is Dept. of justice,President,etc. Approved procedure to be published.
    17.0 People who are responsible last time for the operation of DBM, and COA to be reviewed by Private party say their wealth, social life, etc. and submit this to NBI and Dept. of Justice. People responsible for pork barrel corruption to be put in jail and money stolen to be retrieved by government.
    18.0 Once that all request and requirement by people has been done then that’s the time that we start again creating proposal for project and create budget for project.
    19.0 That’s all for now. You can add more for this reference/guidelines items.
    20.0 Remember that put God first and God will guide you.Also, Don’t give up…….

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