‘Sa Fuente ta’ this afternoon-A A +A
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
THE public demand for the abolition of the controversial Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel of our national legislators is still burning.
Today, people from cross sections of the community will hold another anti-pork barrel rally in key cities all over the country. Here in Cebu, the activity is dubbed, “Sa Fuente ta.” Rallyists will converge at the Fuente Osmeña circle shortly before sunset to show their outrage over the misuse of the pork barrel funds.
Learning their lessons from the August 26 “Million People March” attended by only a handful of participants, organizers this time vowed to gather more people.
The August 26 rally was not well-organized. No individual or group planned it and the rally was program-less. The initial agreement was that they would hold the rally at Fuente Osmeña. But some groups proceeded to Plaza Independencia. There were even claims that the rally here was “sabotaged” by the pro-Aquino group.
I hope that today's rally will get support of the various sectors in our society. It's high time we unite and display our frustrations over the abused and misuse of taxpayers’ money by corrupt legislators. The move by some lawmakers to abolish the item for PDAF in the 2014 budget is a sign that some of them have been swayed by public opinion.
More public pressure would maybe push them to delete the PDAF item in the annual General Appropriations Act and divert the funds to the various departments. Through this, legislators will no longer have access to pork, which is a source of corruption.
So, sa Fuente na ta karong hapon. Per instuction sa GMA 7 Cebu news and public affairs department, adto sad ko mag-news sa Balitang Bisdak didto. Pero kamo lay mag-rally; magbalita lang ko.
Sixth district Rep. Gabriel “Luigi” Quisumbing was named as one of tho Cebuano congressmen who extended financial aid to questionable non-government organizations (NGOs). He denied that a scam was involved in that.
In my radio interview over dySS Super Radyo, Quisumbing said that it was the Department of Agriculture (DA) that recommended which NGO would be the conduit in his urban agriculture program in the sixth district. He said that during his first term, all neophyte congressmen were briefed by DA officials on their “menu” (programs they will implement) for their PDAF.
Quisumbing said that the two NGOs, Kasangga sa Magandang Bukas Foundation Inc. and Kabuhayan at Kalusugan Alay sa Masa Foundation Inc., that were recommended by DA were accredited by the DA, were legitimate and had outstanding track record. These were Luzon-based NGOs, however.
The people behind the NGOs visited his district and conducted a series of trainings and seminars for the supposed beneficiaries. They gave seedlings and other agricultural products.
Quisumbing gave a total of P1.5 million which were released in two tranches. He ordered his staff to monitor the progress of his projects and it was very successful.
When asked if he can produce the names and addresses of the 5,000 beneficiaries, he promised to do so.
Quisumbing said he is willing to face any investigation and supports the move of some of his colleagues for the abolition of the pork barrel in line with President Noynoy Aquino's stand. But he maintained that funds should still be available in various departments for their projects, especially for scholarship and medical programs.
In fairness to our Cebu congressmen, there is no proof yet that they are involved in the pork barrel scam. They poured their pork barrel funds to questionable NGOs but not through those set up by Napoles. I hope they are not really into it.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 11, 2013.