Not all evil-A A +A
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
AFTER many weeks of tussles and hot see-sawing debates about whether the pork barrel or Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), is useful to the public or not, a member of the Senate has come forward saying it is not evil at all.
“It only becomes such when these have been used as tools for malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance.” This contention by the young Senate lawmaker about the “pork” being non-evil is rather wide-ranging, and credible.
Regardless of how many thousands of people have joined protest actions against the pork barrel, the Senate member pointed to the fact that he turned over assistance amounting to some P96 million to various local government units for different local projects.
He said the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) he received from his request for assistance from the Office of the President (OP) was used to for local programs.
“I have made several requests to the OP to boost program funding requests of the LGU (local government units) through our office...The whole amount went to the construction or repair of public markets...for P500,000 each.”
The senator revealed that from the time that he received his pork barrel in 2010 and the following years all allocations and disbursements to and by his office have been posted on his official website...where figures can be readily accessed.
The senator, who is in favor of the PDAF, also said that his allocations either went to regional hospitals and specialty hospitals in the country or to infrastructure projects principally construction or rehabilitation of public markets in all LGUs.
The point is that the issue about the fund is transparency in that the people and the legislators themselves would know where and how the funds were utilized.
Truth to tell, from the very beginning, my thoughts have been parallel with Sen. Francis Escudero in that the pork barrel, the existence of which dates back to the early days of United States’ Abraham Lincoln, could not be decidedly bad if it survived the early North American politics.
The notion of the PDAF being used in the political campaign is to entice voters to choose the candidates who would most likely support economic growth.
The fact that at this point in our local politics some of our legislators have been drawn to make some extra cash by rather “bright” schemes does not make the pork barrel bad or evil.
It is how the PDAF is utilized by scheming individuals in connivance with public officials who allow the influence of their positions to be used that makes the pork evil.
This is the reason why I believe our people should consider closely their sentiment against “innocent” PDAF.
After all, what does it profit our need for economic growth if the pork is replaced with something more tedious to realize, or takes a much longer time for the fund to be accessed?
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 02, 2013.