The Pork Barrel Issue

Topics: Ferdinand Marcos, Transparent materials, Want Pages: 3 (887 words) Published: September 20, 2013
Even from the way the pork barrel system originated in the Philippines, it is easy to see that its path will not be a smooth sailing one. The pork barrel system originated in 1916, when Americans used the funds to divide and rule the Philippine Assembly. The Americans used it to appease the Filipinos who wanted the country’s independence. Even from the start, it has been a way of buying off people’s support. During Martial Law, former President Ferdinand Marcos abolished the pork barrel system in the country, but he did not keep the money as part of the national budget. Instead, he distributed the pork barrel funds to his supporters. Now, the country is facing yet again another problem in the misuse of the pork funds, with the P 10 billion pork barrel scam noted as the mother of all scams and the people’s protests necessitating the need for immediate reforms to be made.

Due to the existing anomalies and lack of transparency found in the pork barrel system, it would be best if the PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund) were to be abolished. There are too many inconsistencies and loopholes in the system that are currently providing corrupt politicians multiple avenues for misusing the funds. One of the biggest flaws with the current system is that the lawmakers, including the senators and the representatives, are responsible for deciding which agencies and beneficiaries the appropriated allowance will go to. Even if the DBM (Department of Budget and Management) will directly release the funds to the respective NGOs and implementing agencies, these agencies were personally handpicked by the legislators. This means that they could have picked their “favorite” NGOs, set-up their own NGOs and have their own relatives run it, or even strike up deals with local government officials and give them a percentage of commission. It would also make them more susceptible to civilians who would want to take advantage of the funds because they feel that they are free to...
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