Wishy-washy about pork barrel issue-A A +A
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
EVEN before the Million People March at the Luneta and in major cities of the country could start yesterday, more doubts were raised about Palace intention about the pork barrel.
PNoy has vacillated on the issue. From repeated declarations he wouldn't abolish the pork barrel, he flipped last Friday. But what he announced was the scrapping of PDAF or Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). People thought the pork barrel would go.
The pork barrel's name will be changed, as it was renamed before from Countryside Development Fund (CDF) to PDAF. Or it may not have a name anymore but the pork barrel will stay.
Butch Abad, Department of Budget Management secretary, confirmed in effect that PNoy hasn't been clear as crystal. Abad said:
• Lawmakers retain the right to identify projects from specified allocations for them, though control is regulated;
• Congress keeps that right over funds, having "the power of the purse."
• Abolition of PDAF will take effect only in 2015 as the 2014 budget, with its P25.2 billion outlay for PDAF, is already in place.
PNoy's Aug. 23 speech was ambiguous enough to mislead some people. There were protesters who declared a victory, before real meaning of the changes sank in.
It's still uncertain how Congress would package the 2014 pork money. Competing interests--political need for it and public indignation over its misuse--have to be
Watch the ball as it is tossed to Congress from the Palace and back. The players are not likely to give up the game.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 27, 2013.