Excited to pass the 2014 national budget, President Aquino seeks to control almost 40% of next year’s budget. The allocation for pork barrel bestows upon him the amount of P1 trillion, the highest in Philippine history.
The President’s pork barrel includes P229.5 billion special purpose funds, P139.9 billion ‘’unprogramed’’ funds, P2 billion PAGCOR contribution to the President’s social funds (which is, according to former National Treasurer Leonor Briones , excluded in special purpose funds and directly allocated to the Office of the President), intelligence funds, and travels.
The P200 billion budget for school buildings (which did not specify location and kind), P341.5 billion internal revenue allotment, and P352 billion for debt servicing, are also allegedly under the control of the President.
All these dubious budget appropriations could easily be passed on to the lower and upper Houses for Aquino’s political pawns under the Liberal Party and Akabayan Partylist. Technically, the Liberal Party now has majority of the Senate, with16 out of 24 seats. In Congress, it has 110 out of more than 250 seats (not including, of course, the Akbayan Partylist representatives).
It is alarming that almost 40% of the 2014 national budget are under the control of the President alone, not to mention the existing monopoly of political power in the three branches of government, putting the Aquino clan and Liberal Party on top of everyone.
Netizens who are showing their outrage online must take a higher form of protest, and take it to the streets to intensify the campaign to abolish the presidential and legislative pork barrel system. It is not enough to show disgust in social networking sites; only in organized action can we pressure the Aquino-led government to abolish the pork barrel system.