• The new pork is now BUB, boys!

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    That’s probably what Budget Secretary Florencio told congressmen in December to get them to stop delaying things and pass quickly the 2015 General Appropriations Act.

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    image001With this new scheme of skirting the Supreme Court rulings declaring President Benigno Aquino’s pork-barrel fund system and Disbursement Acceleration Plan scheme unconstitutional, the 2015 budget is, in effect, a defiant act by Aquino and Abad of raising a dirty finger at the high court saying: “Screw you!”

    BUB stands for “Bottom-Up Budgeting” Projects, a scheme by Aquino and Abad started in 2014 to defy the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision that the pork-barrel system designed to bribe Congress—dubbed the Priority Development Assistance Fund —is unconstitutional.

    Called as such in 2014, the scheme’s name was changed to “Grassroots Participatory Budgeting” in the deliberations for the 2015 budget last year. Abad decided to use the BUB name sometime in October.

    Probably, he thought the congressmen were too obtuse that they needed a very obvious memory-aide to be reminded that he has not removed their pork barrel.

    As has been this Administration’s habit of giving noble nomenclatures to its diabolical schemes, the term BUB portrays it as a democratic exercise, when in fact, it is designed entirely to disguise the pork barrel scheme carried on last year and is set to continue this year.

    Even the figure for this year, P20.9 billion, is equivalent to the pork-barrel funds of P16 billion each for 2011 and 2012, and P20 billion in 2014, adjusted for inflation

    One of the Supreme Court’s definitions of pork barrel, when it ruled it unconstitutional, is as follows: “An appropriation of government spending meant for localized projects and secured solely or primarily to bring money to a representative’s district.”

    Going by this definition, the BUB is clearly pork-barrel money. Projects it will fund are those which congressmen have always claimed are the result of their influence on Malacanang or the budget department, such things as listed in the actual budget for 2015 as “livelihood projects,” “livelihood projects,” “artesian wells,” “national greening program” (in a rural area?).

    Aquino and Abad, however, revised certain aspects of its use in order to skirt certain guidelines issued by the court.
    P12-P15 million per municipality

    Instead of allocating a certain amount (P70 million) annually per congressman as was the case under the old pork barrel system, the BUB allocated P12 to P15 million per municipality.

    This, however, would be a boon to Aquino’s lackeys. Eastern Samar representative Ben Evardone, in effect, would get P290 million this year, an exponential jump from the P58 million average in allocations he received for 2011-2013. No wonder he’s the noisiest in defending Aquino’s 2015 budget and shouting deadpan, “No pork in budget.”

    Why is a province’s population not considered in the amount?

    One reason could be that if they considered population as a factor, Abad’s Batanes, with just 16,000 souls and from which place his wife is sole congressman, certainly wouldn’t be getting P75 million – the amount allocated for provinces with 160,000 or 1.6 million in population. Another obvious reason is that most congressmen, in effect, would be allocated P70 million, given the average number of municipalities per congressional district, or pork-barrel per congressman Aquino has distributed since 2010.

    To hide these pork-barrel funds, these are not placed as a separate major allocation in the budget, such as “Priority Development Assistance Fund” or “Countrywide Development Fund,” as had been the practice since 1990.

    Instead, there is a special provision in the budget of 14 departments and agencies that provides that out of these, a certain amount will be used exclusively for “various programs and projects of LGUs” which are identified in another part of the budget law.

    That for the interior and local government department, for instance, reads as follows:

    “6. Bottom-up Budgeting Program. The amount of P5,664.166,000 appropriated herein for Provision for Potable Water Supply and Other Projects shall be used exclusively for the Bottom-up Budgeting (BUB) Projects and shall be exclusively used in the LGUs identified under Volume No. 1 of this Act.”

    The biggest BUB fund for this year among the 14 departments and agencies is P5.8 billion for the lnterior and Local Government Department, nearly double its P2.8 billion pork-barrel funds last year.

    This had prompted Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago to claim that the budget was tailor-made to fit DILG Secretary Mar Roxas’ presidential bid in 2016. The DILG chief would have nearly total control of this multi-billion fund. Roxas would have another P2.8 billion pork barrel, called the Local Government Support Fund, which is totally under his discretion to disburse.

    For Aquino and Abad’s scheme, there is no pork barrel, since the funds are allocated to municipalities, not to congressmen.

    BUB projects

    But a party-list congressman and Senator Santiago, however, have exposed the fact that the congressmen determine the BUB projects. To make it easier for them, forms were even distributed by Abad for them to just fill in during the budget deliberations for the projects they have chosen for their districts. No wonder the congressmen are so supportive of the 2015 budget bill.

    One shouldn’t have any business in Congress if he doesn’t believe that BUB allocations will be put on hold for hard-core opposition districts, or those represented by congressmen critical of this regime.

    Abad claims that the BUB does not violate the court’s ban on Congress from interfering with budget allocations after the law has been passed. But the list of BUB projects contains so many fund items with still unidentified uses. Who will determine what projects should be funded?

    Everyone knows that it will be the congressman who has and always will be the municipality’s only link with the Budget department.

    Abad, though, invented another ruse that he thinks will hide such congressmen’s role in local projects, the reason he says why the scheme is called “Bottom-Up Budgeting.” He claims the BUB projects were chosen not by the congressmen but by an assembly in each of 1,600 municipalities consisting of local officials and leaders of NGOs.

    Such utter hogwash. Have you heard, dear reader, of such assembly held in your municipality?

    BUB is Aquino’s and Abad’s scheme for defying the SC’s ban on pork-barrel funds. No wonder Congress continues to be so subservient to him.

    On Monday I’ll discuss their scheme for defying the Court’s ruling on DAP, or their way from 2011 and 2012 of hijacking public money to fund nearly whatever fancied them. This was meant to allow them to start filling their campaign war chest for the 2016 elections.

    tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com
    FB: Rigoberto Tiglao

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    16 Comments

    1. no problem yan kina abnoy, roxas, drilon, abad at LP allies…hanggang putak lang ng putak ang kayang gawin ng taong bayan! LOL… hawak nga LP (mga mason) ang SC, PNP, AFP, malalaking media…at gamit ang hocus PCOS ni Sixto kontrolado pa ang 2016 eleksyon (tulad noong 2013). Kung tutuusin hindi makukonsensya ang mga Senatongs at Tongressmen kasi hindi naman taong bayan bumoto sa kanila kundi ang hocus PCOS (parang appointed sila ni Abnoy sa senate/congress)!

      sa totoo lang, wala talagang magagawa taong bayan nyaan.
      ang mga heneral sa AFP/PNP at justices sa SC hindi ma-propromote/appoint yan kung hindi myembro ng FreeMason. At hindi bibitawan ng LP(mason) ang kontrol nila sa eleksyon ni Sixto.

    2. May troll brigade dito o. Rivera, Firebird, etc. The common thread is dapat hindi kasuklaman itong DAP at PDAF. Kasi may proper monitoring pala sabi ni Firebird. Hasten development to every government sectors daw sabi nitong si Rivera. Magamit daw itong DAP para ma implement key programs to ensure sustainability … sabi naman ni Rommel Tan. Ganon din ang pinasabi ni Vampirehunter – daw siya. At may Moreover-Moreover pa si Omegaman – daw siya (kaano-ano kaya niya si JoanaMan?). Eh sino naman kaya ang mapapaniwala nila? Pati ang gasgas nang kasabihang “Tell it to the Marines” hindi uubra dito. Nakakainsulto sa mga Marines itong lantarang panluluko.

    3. What a term ‘BUB’ (Bottom-Up Budgeting, it really comes across as a definite insult to Filipinos, the word has its parallelism, as in when one sees a dead fish on water or when one is challenged to drink empty a glass full of liquid. Abad is really rubbing it in on to Filipinos faces that they can get away with everything that they wish to do and no one can do anything about it – since they are all powerful.

      It is a guess that the papal visit, really did not matter to these characters, not even a pope can change any evil that they have within themselves, and to take the words spoken by the pope about breeding like rabbits – these desciples of evil multiplies their deviousness a rapid rate.

      It is also a guess that Filipinos, will just take these insults sitting down and will not bother to act – to protect themselves from being abused.

    4. Moreover, it has been employed by Pnoy Governance with clarity on purpose, implementation and monitoring. Other government sectors couldn’t enliven their increasing demand for development that needed funding. The resources for their projects were scrutinized by other political observers as unfair when it comes to funding. The Pnoy Administration’s continued to persuade the Filipino people that with this system, the Philippine economy’s constantly increasing due to the fact of its quick funding response.

    5. Criticisms plagued Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of Pnoy Administration which were used as funding system to prioritize country’s developments. It’s employed for Local Governance prioritized-projects that really need funding to hasten the vital developments of each province in the Philippines. The fund’s released to accelerate the important aspects of local projects submitted by leaders. The SC decided it as unconstitutional based on the Philippine Constitution which needed rigid consultation from the Senate.

    6. The 2015 budget was released with much confident from the Pnoy Administration side, but opposition leaders announced that it’s still laced with DAP essence. And, contrary to President Aquino’s claims, however, the budget included a redefinition of savings that critics said was meant to undermine the Supreme Court’s decision last July declaring Palace acts creating the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) as unconstitutional. He is determined to implement the key programs and reforms that will ensure sustainability of the gains already achieved in terms of reducing poverty; increasing social protection universal education and health care, socialized shelter; mitigating the ill effects of calamities and drastic climate change; and delivering justice for all without fear or favor.

    7. It’s a fact that majority of the people and political observer have negative notion that Pnoy Administration will eventually follow the Supreme Court ruling. For 2015 budget, it’s still laced with DAP system in another form of funding. The savings of the government’s properly guided by its meaning to use in prioritized projects but it will be monitored and checked.

    8. Francisco Rivera on

      The Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) are being used by the Pnoy Administration to hasten the development of every government sectors through which these were given to priority projects for its constituents. The essence of these two funding are thoroughly applied but other political leaders opposed and even the Judicial arm found it unconstitutional.

    9. Bert O. Romero on

      Ha ha ha. BS Aquino and Abad have the last laugh after all. And it is said that he who laughs last laughs the best. KAAWAAWANG BAYAN!!!

    10. You are on the right track. Money is the driving force behind corruption. If the money diversion can be explained to the public, we are on the road to stopping the corruption. Once the public can see how the money is diverted then it can be stopped.

    11. Thank your very much Ambassador Tiglao – you said it all.

      Yong dalawang kalbo na yan – sana tutuboan na ng buhok sa noo.
      They can fool the people once, twice but not all the time.

    12. muriel magtanggol on

      Let’s see if those “ring kissing” government officials, starting from the top to the next in line to the bottom would heed the Pope’s plea ” to reject every form of corruption which diverts resources from the poor”. Kung hindi, hindi man sila umusok sa harap ni Pope, palagay ko, uusok sila sa isang lugar na talagang dapat nilang kalagyan!

    13. The 2015 Budget that was requested by President Aquino was approved by Congress without any cuts and without any debate. Philippine Congress is just a rubber stamp of Aquino.

      Poor Pilipino people!! Be wise when voting comes. Otherwise, palaging nakasadlak sa hirap ang mga pinoy.

      • ang talino talaga ni Abad. Nakakatakot if he stays in DBM for more years, grabe pa ang corruption dyan. kaya they are moving heaven and earth na mawala si binay using those 3 senators para ang LP pa rin ang mananalo 2016.