Latest Stories

UP profs say all pork, not just PDAF, must go


MANILA, Philippines—Pork by any other name is just as fat and harmful, and it’s time to strike it off the menu for good.

This according to two economists from the University of the Philippines (UP) who stressed the need to abolish not only the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF)—more commonly known as the pork barrel—allocated to legislators but the entire system of appropriating funds to lawmakers for abuse-prone local projects.

INQUIRER columnist Winnie Monsod with fellow professors from the UP-Diliman College of Education during the Friday forum on the pork barrel system. INQUIRER/ MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

Abolishing the pork barrel does not end with scrapping the PDAF from the General Appropriations Act (GAA) but with removing the power from senators and congressmen to identify which funds should go to which projects, professors Solita Monsod and Leonor Briones on Friday told a forum titled “Pork After PDAF: What’s Next on the Menu,” held at the UP College of Education.

Monsod, a former director general of the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), said that although the pork barrel was technically defined as “the appropriation of government spending for localized projects,” the fund was also used “for projects designed to please voters or for legislators to win votes.”

The lesson, she said, is that “power is based on the pork barrel and purchased with patronage.”

Monsod described it as the “divide by N syndrome,” a “fragmentation of resources” and ill-advised economic policy to equally divide resources instead of putting them where they are most needed.

“Why is the same amount of pork barrel given to someone who represents Makati and someone who represents a district in Western Samar?” asked the economics professor.

Former National Treasurer Leonor Briones said the P10-billion pork barrel scam was a “piglet” compared to the larger pork out there.

“That was P10 billion over 10 years, whereas we are talking of P25.2 billion [of PDAF] every year,” she said, adding that the PDAF under the so-called “special purpose funds” amounting to P310 billion was “not detailed” but mentioned in only “one line and one chart in the General Appropriations Act.”

Aside from the “special purpose funds,” there were also the “off budget items” not included in the GAA, including remittances from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. to the Office of the President amounting to P2.6 billion, the Malampaya funds worth P26 billion and the motor vehicle users charge (MVUC) of P12 billion, she added.

“Members of Congress are allotted P10 million each from the MVUC,” Briones said, adding that this “mother pig” could be put to better use in ways that would not be vulnerable to corruption.

“We can turn the mother pig into ham and chorizo, and the piglet we can cook into lechon,” she said.

Briones proposed the transfer of the pork barrel fund to the different frontline agencies that had the mandate to formulate and implement the development plans of local governments.

An official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Saturday cautioned the youth to be discerning before joining any mass gatherings in protest of the pork barrel.

“We don’t want to be taken advantage of by gatherings that are being organized without our leaders, especially the bishops and priests, giving us the word that it’s OK for people to participate and join these activities,” Fr. Conegundo Garganta, executive secretary of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth, told reporters in an interview.

On Wednesday, CBCP president Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said the 120-strong Church body was “in solidarity” with protest actions against the pork barrel, including the mass gathering dubbed “Edsa Tayo” to be held this week.

“The laity should also do their [jobs] because they are on the ground so much,” Garganta said. With a report from Jocelyn R. Uy



Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Other Stories:

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Gigi Reyes back to face charges
  2. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  3. In the know: Gigi Reyes
  4. SC suspends proctor in 2011 bar exams
  5. Senator Pimentel backs German think tank’s stand vs dynasties
  6. Bar proctor suspended for photographing test papers
  7. Collector Danny Garcia says Inquirer worth more than news
  8. Meteor shower to light up PH skies
  9. What Went Before: Enrile denies Gigi Reyes was ‘other woman’
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  8. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  9. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • Tagle: Christ’s resurrection a message of hope to faithful
  • Aquino vows to intensify anti-corruption drive further
  • Unease in Vatican over cardinal’s luxury flat—report
  • Nepal calls off search for missing guides on Everest—official
  • Pope’s Easter Message ‘Urbi et Orbi’
  • Sports

  • Rain or Shine grabs No.4, sends Ginebra to 8th
  • Red-hot Alaska rips injury-depleted San Mig Coffee
  • Pacquiao courtesy call to Aquino set for Monday
  • Nick Calathes suspension a reminder of supplement risk
  • Teague scores 28 as Hawks soar past Pacers in Game 1
  • Lifestyle

  • Angono petroglyphs in danger of disappearing
  • Britain’s baby Prince George visits Australian zoo
  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Entertainment

  • Show-biz celebrities’ other choices of summer getaway
  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Aquino, Obama to tackle US pivot to Asia during state visit
  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Marketplace