MANILA, Philippines—Environmental activists on Thursday called on the government to divert “pork barrel” funds for climate adaptation programs.
In a statement sent to media, Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) asked President Benigno Aquino III to scrap the Priority Development Assistance Fund of legislators in favor of programs on disaster risk reduction, renewable energy and environmental protection.
“The P10-billion pork barrel scam allocated to fake NGOs [nongovernment organizations] should have instead been used for an P8.3-billion restoration of our country’s mangrove forest cover and almost four year’s worth of community-based disaster preparedness and response programs for at least P2 billion,” said Kalikasan PNE campaign coordinator Leon Dulce.
Dulce said such programs would address problems of flooding and community displacement like what had happened in Cavite and other provinces during the devastation wrought by Tropical Storm “Maring” and the southwest monsoon.
He said mangroves would protect coastal areas from storm surges and serve as natural flood control and fisheries hub.
Earlier, the state weather bureau said it has recorded 475 millimeters amount of rainfall over a 24-hour period (8 a.m. Monday to 8 a.m. Tuesday) in Sangley Point in Cavite, or around 30 percent more than the 364.2 mm worth of rainfall recorded in the area during the week-long monsoon rains on August 7, 2012.
Kalikasan PNE joined the growing clamor for the abolition of the PDAF and other discretionary funds and the immediate prosecution of people involved in the misuse of public funds.