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2021 Pork Barrel Insertions

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2021 Pork Barrel Insertions
« on: October 14, 2020, 05:04:45 PM »
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Pork barrel of one congressman equals 22 M schoolers’ lessons

How much is one congressional district’s pork barrel?

:-) Almost the same cost to print 22 million schoolchildren’s weekly lessons for a year. Or to feed 18 million poor families for a day or two. Or to vaccinate Metro Manila’s 12.8 million residents against COVID-19.

:-) The Speakership fight is drowning out such facts. In the political din the House of Reps is divvying up the people’s money.

At this writing there are two Speakers: Alan Cayetano and Lord Velasco. Whomever is the true one is not the issue. Pork barrel is.

:-) The “small committee” that Cayetano formed Tuesday is to accept congressmen’s “amendments” to the 2021 national budget. Some call it “insertions,” others “for later release.” Whatever, they’re all illegal pork slabs they’ll slice from the Executive’s spending program.

:-) Earlier, certain congressmen already secured full, greasy barrels. Cayetano’s small group consists of expert porkers.

:-) Cut up were infra-work funds of the Public Works department. To the two Taguig districts of Cayetano and congresswoman-wife Lani will go P11.11 billion, Rep. Arnolfo Teves alleges.

:-) Though only six percent of the national capital, Taguig is to get the lion’s share of the region’s money for road and bridgeworks. What’s the point of the Balik-Probinsiya project, asks Teves (Negros Oriental).

:-) To the Camarines Sur district of Deputy Speaker L-Ray Villafuerte will go P4.98 billion, says Rep. Bonito Singson.

:-) Having received P1.43 billion in 2019 and P6.76 billion this 2020, he now totals P13.17 billion, adds Singson (Ilocos Sur). Villafuerte figured in similar controversy last year.

:-) Then-appropriations head Isidro Ungab decried his withdrawal of the 2020 budget bill from the plenary to insert un-debated items.

:-) To the first district of Camarines Sur will go another P3.515 billion, Teves says. When the congresswoman passed away, Cayetano became district caretaker.

:-)Supposedly only P443.86 million originally was allotted for projects there. Adding the P11.11 billion in Taguig, Cayetano is to control P14.63 billion in public works.

===Cayetano and Villafuerte deny any sleaze. Before stifling open debates Tuesday on the 2021 budget, Cayetano disavowed closeness to seven of ten congressmen with the largest public works bonanzas.

“They’re my friends but not barkada... This is not a Barkada Budget but the President’s budget,” he said.

:-) Funds direly are needed for education. Sec. Leonor Briones reportedly requested P30 billion to augment her P10 billion for 22 million public schoolchildren’s printed lessons.

:-) During the pandemic, printed modules are majority of parents’ preferred learning mode in lieu of face-to-face classes. Each student is to receive a handout each week.

:-) The House gave Briones only P15 billion, plus P4-billion standby.

Expect super-typhoons in La Niña year 2021. Rehab from the last such howler Yolanda in 2013 cost the country P15.2 billion a year for four years. That’s roughly the pork barrel of one congressman alone.

Rice harvests are dwindling. Farmers shun to plant due to meager incomes from the staple.

:-) Yet drought threatens the Philippines’ usual sources of rice imports: Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia. At P5,000 cash aid to each farmer, a mere P3 billion is needed to encourage palay growing. 

That’s a fraction of a congressman’s pork slab.

:-) There won’t be any illegal pork if Rody Duterte vetoes them. He did so in the 2020 budget with the help of senators.

:-)  His presidency’s success hangs on the delivery of public services with the meager funds that government has.

Not Congress but he will be blamed for failure.


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