Taguiwalo: Some lawmakers ‘feel entitled’ to ‘hidden pork’
A day after her appointment was rejected by the Commission on Appointments, outgoing Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy Taguiwalo bared on Thursday the “hidden pork” that lawmakers had allegedly inserted within the budget of the agency.
Taguiwalo also disclosed how a few lawmakers felt “entitled” to this “pork,” citing as example a neophyte congressman who had personally asked money from her department.
“Ito ng dinatnan ko, ang tawag na dito ngayon, hidden pork kasi wala s’ya sa GAA (General Appropriations Act) . Sa GAA dati nandun e… Ito wala pero may mga insertions sila na sinasabi. Sinasabi nila may mga nilagay kami na pera d’yan,” she said in an interview over DZMM.
(This is what I have seen—they call this a hidden pork now because it’s not in the GAA. Before, it was part of the GAA. This is no longer the case, but there are so-called insertions. They say they have allotted money for that.)
“Nagulat nga ako ng unang-una akong dumating and I’m saying some, not all, because I appreciate many of the congressmen who understood the dilemma that the department is facing specially sa disbursing, nagpapasalamat ho ako sa kanila, alam nila ‘yan kung sino sila. Pero may ilan ho talaga na (ang tingin) nila entitled (sila),” Taguiwalo said.
(I was shocked when I assumed office, and I am saying some, not all, because I appreciate many of the congressmen who understood the dilemma that the department is facing specially in the disbursing, and I thank them—they know who they are. But there are those who really feel that they are entitled.)
She then recalled how a “young,” first-termer congressman approached her in July asking for allocations that should have been released to him.
“‘Ma’am yung pera ko, hindi nyo pa binababa.’ Unang tanong ko, ‘Anong pera n’yo? Pang-ilang term mo na ba ito?’ First term.’ E bakit ka may pera supposedly? ‘Ah hindi Ma’am, ‘yung kamaganak ko, s’ya ‘yung dating congresswoman or something,” Taguiwalo said of her conversation with the unnamed lawmaker.
(“Ma’am, you have not released my money.” I asked him, “What money are you talking about? What term are you on?” “First term.” “Then how come you have money supposedly?” “No ma’am, it’s my relative’s, who was a former congresswoman.”)
“So may ganoon sila na entitlement. and I told them una (first) , I don’t have your money. It’s not in the GAA. You show me the amount in the GAA, I will implement it .Yung GAA ho yung batas ano, pero may listahan ho talaga (The GAA is what’s in the law, but they have their list.).”
“So sabi ko I cannot implement that, I will be violating the law. And again, I’d like to say hindi ito sa lahat. Maraming sa mga kongresista…ang sabi ko sa kanila I understand that there are constituents na mahirap sa inyo na humihingi ng tulong, i-refer nyo sa amin. ‘We will help you…’” she added.
(So I told them I cannot implement that because I will be violating the law. And again, I would like to say that it’s not all. Many of the congressmen, and I told them that I understand that they have constituents who are poor and look to them for help, but they can refer them to us. We will help (them).)
Taguiwalo reiterated that her refusal to give into the demands of some lawmakers could have been one of the reasons why her appointment was rejected Wednesday by the Commission.
While she respects and has accepted the decision of the body, Taguiwalo said she was saddened because she would have wanted to be officially informed why she was rejected to the post.
“Kaya ako na lang nagpre-presume ako (I am only presuming that) it’s about my inability to give them what they wanted. Not everyone there (in the CA), not everyone…” she said.
Aside from the issue of “pork,” Taguiwalo said she might have been rejected because of policy differences specially her stand against the proposed tax reform package. IDL
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