Student Journalists to remain vigilant against Pork Barrel and Corruption

Aprille Joy A. Atadero
Alyansa ng Kabataang Mamamahayag-PUP

 

The nation is now in outrage because of the current talk of the town – the 10B Pork barrel scam. This
issue have opened the closet of skeletons. A lot of secrets are exposed. Now, the people are calling for
the Abolishment of the Pork Barrel System.

The Alyansa ng Kabataang Mamamahayag-PUP is on the people’s side on this fight. AKM-PUP stands
that it is reasonable to Abolish the Pork Barrel System.

Pork Barrel, by definition, encompasses all the lump sum appropriations in the National Expenditure
Program, appropriated fund for the Executive Branch of the government wherein the sole discretion of
its release is on the President and/or Department heads, and all the off-budget accounts that the
government, especially the Office of the President will use (e.g. PAGCOR and PCSO Charity fund).
However big this allocation could be, it will not be undergoing strict auditing (i.e. Liquidation by
Certification) by the Commission on Audit, albeit mandated by the laws of the land to strictly audit all
utilization of public fund.

That is why it is prone to corruption.

For the 2014 budget, there are 25.2 Billion allocated Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) for
Congressmen and Senators and 1.33 Trillion for the President’s PDAF. Yet, 39 Billion is alloted to state
universities and colleges, a far cry from the needed 54 Billion budget.

Despite the call to scrap pork by most of the Filipino, the President, Noynoy Aquino remains hardheaded and refuses to follow his Boss’s directive. Although, they pretend to be with the people’s side in
the fight against corruption by making a press release on eradicating the Congressmen’s and Senator’s
Priority Development Assistance Fund, he, together with his allies, keeps the Presidential Pork and
justifies it as intended for calamity funds and other social service project.

Then, it is upright to rechannel those funds to the social service budget. When there is sufficient
allocation for these services, we would be able to have our benefits, which is a right. Also, these projects
would not be used for publicity by the politicians.

We must bear in mind that we should always remind those politicians, who are supposed to be “publicservants”, that they must be thinking for the sake of the majority not of their self interest.
To abolish pork barrel is to end the systematized corruption in the Philippines. Further, to advance the
fight for the rechanneling of these funds to social service budget.

It is about time, for us, young journalist, to step up and take part in the nation’s fight. We must ink our
pens but we must not cage ourselves in writing. We must remain vigilant, keep the students and the
people informed in all means that we can, as one of our major tasks.###

abad@mailxu.com