Pork Barrel

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PRI Discussion Paper Series


Politicization of Philippine Budget System: Institutional and Economic Analysis on “Pork-Barrel”

Kohei Noda
Visiting Researcher Policy Research Institute, Ministry of Finance

March 2011

The views expressed in this paper are those of the author and not those of the Ministry of Finance or the Policy Research Institute.

Research Department Policy Research Institute, MOF 3-1-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8940, Japan TEL 03-3581-4111

Politicization of Philippine Budget System: Institutional and Economic Analysis on “Pork-Barrel”

Kohei Noda

* I would like to thank Prof. Cayetano Paderanga and Prof. Arsenio Baliscan for their valuable inputs and advices. Also, I would like to show my special appreciation to Prof. Benjamin E. Diokno who gave me numerous suggestions regarding the theme of this paper in various occasions. In drafting this paper, I referred to the unpublished paper “Philippine Yosan Seido (Philippine Budget System)” by Prof. Yutaka Katayama of University of Kobe, who was a former Minister for Research at the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines.



Budget is a foundation of economic management of a country, and therefore, in the context of developing countries, it is primarily an issue of development. It is often pointed out that the Philippine budget institution is characterized by its high degree of politicization. Such politicization is said to be one of the major causes of corruption, opaque plutocratic policy-makings, and frequent delays in budget approval and implementation. Politicization in the budget process, in concrete, is brought about by budget allocations aiming at providing benefits only to some regionally bounded constituency, which are often collectively expressed as “pork-barrel”. Presumably, there have always been several fundamental pitfalls in the discussions surrounding pork-barrel. First, to start with, the concept of...
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