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Kenneth Christopher S.

Murillo – 2013-45544 – Pol Sci 11 BYDX – Prof Abaya – August 20, 2014
Reaction Paper: DAPat Managot, DAPat Makialam
After the Queen of the Pork Barrel, Janet Napoles, and her loyal minions were arrested, the news
and issues regarding the corruption in our government still haven’t stopped. Impeachment trials, protests
and decrease of public trust shows that the masses are displeased with our country’s condition. In fact, in
the recent survey of Pulse Asia, President Benigno Aquino III‘s performance ratings dropped 14% while his
trust ratings fell 13%, such two-digit decrease in ratings shows that a lot were dissatisfied with his term and
PNoy and the government needs to put an extra careful effort to regain the trust of the masses.
The two honourable speakers of the forum, “DAPat Managot, DAPat Makialam” were Teddy Casiῆo
and Inday Varona, both of them pointed out how the Pork Barrel System becomes a source of corruption in
our government. In fact, the pork barrel system was introduced in Philippines around 1922, though it only
benefits the allies or party members of the president, as Casiῆo stated. Back then it was a lump sum of
money given to politicians for them to use it on projects but over time it mutated as the Pork Barrel System
we know today. So how can Pork Barrel become a source of corruption in our government? Casiῆo used a
father and a child as an example, the father represents the body of government who gives lump sums
(money) to politicians (child), if the father gave money, let’s say around 5,000 php to his child to pay his/her
school fees, but, his child decided NOT to use it, instead he/she just declared it as his/her own “savings”!
With the child’s declaration of the money given to him as “savings”, there will be an issue or problem with
the definition of “savings”, Merriam-Webster defined savings as “the excess of income over consumption
expenditures” while Investopedia stated, “According to Keynesian economics, the amount left over when
the cost of a person's consumer expenditure is subtracted from the amount of disposable income that he
or she earns in a given period of time.”, both definitions mean that there must be an “expenditure” to
declare something as “savings”, so since the child did not spent the money for his/her school fees, the
money he/she has now is not “savings”. This is also how corruption works, the money given to the
politicians are not used for the benefit of the masses but they use it for their own interests, worse, when
they create programs and projects they make it look like as if it was from their “own” money but no, the
government gave this money for the masses, it is MEANT for the MASSES, this is also how they earn their
pogi points since people see them as saintly officials who truly dedicate themselves in helping people but
the truth is that a lot of them just wants an assurance that they will have more voters in the future
elections, but this is not right, it is their obligation to help the masses, and it is wrong for the masses to
have an “utang ng loob” to them because the money used is basically for and from the people. Casiῆo even
humorously pointed out how some posters of the projects of different politicians look like, some posters
emphasize not the project itself but the politician’s name and face or even his/her family. This shows that
for them, their projects are like advertisements so that they’ll have a nice reputation. Varona also told us
that in hospitals, to exempt or lower the fees to be paid by the poor families, they must first consent with
the congressman of the area to ask for a letter that proves that they are qualified for the program, but this
is wrong, instead of having an easier access to the program, poor families must spend time waiting in lines
just to get a letter, besides, this will give a power to the congressman to choose whoever is qualified for the
program, this means that families who support his/her rival might not get a letter at all! There’s no equality
if such thing will happen, plus it ruins the sense of democracy and fairness. Instead of the program
becoming a “right”, it becomes a “privilege” only.
My mother is an avid pro-PNoy supporter, I tried talking to her about the issue of DAP and PDAF
and she said that PNoy has the right to use the money as he wants and what Pnoy did was for the sake of
the masses. I told her that such action is against “democracy”, it is not right to use an amount of money
that is assigned for a specific project to other things without the consent of others, this is not a talk about
“benefits”, it’s about “democracy”. Besides, as Varona said, the president has a sufficient power to help
his/her country, if the president needs money, he/she can just inquire the congress about it and the
president can easily acquire it in just a blink of an eye. This is why abolishing the pork barrel is not a
problem to the president, and if the disappearance of the pork barrel system won’t be much of an
inconvenience and can be readily solved by different alternatives, it should be abolished already rather
than having a source of corruption in the government.
The Disbursement Acceleration Program, according to the Department of Budget and
Management, is a way to “speed-up public spending and to boost economic growth”, DBM states that it’s
goal is to for the president to use the savings to augment deficient projects. So what went wrong with DAP
and PDAF? According to Casiῆo, a lot of money were given to different politicians aside from their pork
barrels, thus, they now have more money for their own interests. The declared savings of PNoy are a fund
that are untouched and are not spent, that’s why it should not be regarded as savings. Moreover, there are
a lot of projects or matters that the government should take notice of, free education and hospital services
for poor people, decreasing poverty rate and such. DAP might accelerate economic growth but, more than
that, the government should instead help those who live in poverty, DAP, clearly, isn’t something our
country needs now.
Varona introduced the People’s Initiative Petition, an action made by different activist groups and
partylists to go against the Pork Barrel System and draft an initiative on public fund spending and security.
It includes eradicating the Pork Barrel System, mandating a line system budgeting which will show where
and how the money will be spent, prohibiting the appropriation and use of lump sum discretionary funds
and penalizing the violators. Furthermore, it requires reporting of the financial status and it follows the
proper definition of “savings” since it states that unobligated/ unspent/ unreleased funds by the end of the
fiscal year shall remain in the General funds (not in savings!), the money in General Funds will then be
redistributed for different projects. The People’s Initiative fund also avoids spending funds that are not
included in the General Appropriations Act (GAA). This controls and lessens the possibility of corruption in
the government as the money/budget is already planned and controlled, besides, under certain
restrictions, an official cannot acquire money with lump sums because it will violate its rule, hence, the
violator will be penalized for such crime.
Still, the People’s Initiative Petition is useless without the cooperation of the masses, efforts are
futile if we, Filipinos, are not united. A key is useless without a hand controlling it and that’s what the PIP
needs, the masses that will support it. Filipinos should now stop turning a blind eye to this difficult world
and start taking a step to make a change. No longer will the Filipinos let the authorities abuse us, and with
unity, the country shall have fair laws enforced by the whole community with a selfless leader whom
people are willing to serve and who is willing to serve the people.