Farmers cry foul over use of agri sector in pork scam | Inquirer News

Farmers cry foul over use of agri sector in pork scam

MANILA, Philippines—An association of farmers has cried foul over what it described as a “shameless act of using the sector as direct beneficiaries of the anomalous” Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

“The unbridled referral of farmers and farmer foundations as beneficiaries of the PDAF/DAP ignominy has given a bad light to the sector,” Sonny Domingo, national chair of the Kapisanan ng Magsasaka, Mangingisda at Manggagawa ng Pilipinas Inc., said in a statement.

Labeling the sector as so-called “direct beneficiaries” of pork barrel since, he said, “has totally damaged their image into oblivion in any future assistance by the government and other agencies.”


Domingo was reacting to an Inquirer report on Monday that linked 83 lawmakers, including four senators, to the release of P1.7 billion of their PDAF to questionable groups through state-owned National Agribusiness Corp. (Nabcor) from 2007 to 2009.


Nabcor, which is now up for abolition along with other state-owned firms embroiled in the P10-billion pork barrel scam, is an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture.

The DAP is a little-known impounding mechanism for government savings created by President Aquino in 2011 primarily to stimulate the economy.

Since March 2012, however, some DAP funds have been used as a source of additional funding for the senators’ development projects on top of their annual P200 million PDAF allocation.

Sectoral parliament

“Now they (farmers) are starting to doubt the legislators as to whether they are representing the farming sector, or are just out to enrich themselves, their staff or their family members and friends,” Domingo said.

He said the group was now calling for a “sectoral parliament.”


“Perhaps, the flawed democratic representation in Congress by political districts must now be reviewed, and (effect a) change (in) the Constitution to conform with an honest to goodness representation,” he said.

Domingo then quoted excerpts from a book, “Birth of a New Republic,” which he said called for a “new politics.”

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“National Leaders will now come from the masses (not from the thoroughbred of the traditional politicians). This is done by asking the purok (the smallest part of a village) leaders to choose from among themselves who will be kagawad (village official) following the number required by law. The kagawad will then choose by consensus who among themselves will be the barangay (village) chair with a recall system,” he said.

TAGS: Agriculture, Farmers

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