I almost fell off my seat when Budget Secretary Butch Abad justified the huge pork barrel for lawmakers under the Aquino administration in a span of three years.
Reports show that in its three years in office, the Aquino administration was allocated P74 billion in Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel for the lawmakers.
The amount almost equaled the PDAF of legislators under the Arroyo administration which was P77 billion. However, the P77 billion covered a period of 10 years.
Secretary Abad attributed the huge pork barrel of this administration to the increase in the number of lawmakers at the House of Representatives.
The budget secretary also explained that all lawmakers, including those in the opposition, were given PDAF.
Critics claim that this administration is wasting the people’s money on useless spending like the reported pay off to lawmakers to allegedly follow the wishes of the President which is to impeach former Chief Justice Renato Corona.
But didn’t Pnoy criticize the past administration for overspending?
What ever happened to your promise of budget cuts and wise spending, Mr. President?
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Are we ready for ‘Yolanda’?
As early as Tuesday morning, various agencies of the government, including several local government units in areas along Super Typhoon Yolanda’s path, have announced their readiness for the anticipated onslaught of the mega typhoon today in Eastern Visayas.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development announced that it has delivered relief packs in strategic areas for victims of the typhoon.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council also reported the preparedness of various search and rescue units that will be deployed once Typhoon Yolanda hits land anytime today.
But the preparedness of government agencies in dealing with calamities and disasters remains to be seen.
Based on experience, some of these agencies have also announced in the past of their readiness in an impending calamity, yet scores of fatalities were reported in the aftermath.
Worse, the initial relief efforts of the local government units were either insufficient or none at all.
There were even instances of finger pointing, such as in Cagayan de Oro after a mudslide killed dozens of people, and in Compostela Valley where hundreds of people died after a landslide.
I just hope that this time around, the government is really prepared to avoid loss of lives.
After all, we should have already mastered how to weather storms such as Yolanda because our country sits in the typhoon passageway.
For the meantime, lets just brace ourselves and pray.