PDAF made many people millionaires


There is a joke in Filipino that says “Kung gusto mong yumaman, tumakbo ka sa pulitika (if you want to get rich, join politics).

This may sound absurd, but with the unearthing of the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) scam, this funny line is for real after all.

It’s no longer a mystery why politicians, particularly senators and congressmen, spend hundreds of millions during elections knowing their salaries and allowances will not be enough to cover those expenditures during their term of office.

The answer lies in the PDAF, better known as “pork barrel” which was given to senators and congressmen.

Fat commissions, kickbacks or “tongpats” handed over by unscrupulous contractors and suppliers lure people with political ambitions to run for office in the legislative branch of the government.

One case in point is a former legislator who did not own a car because he was poor. So, he went to Congress every day by taking public transportation.

Lo and behold, after three terms at the House of Representatives, this good-for-nothing lawmaker, since he did not pass any law at all while in office, now owns a mansion in a subdivision near Congress, a van, a luxury car, a palatial house and several pieces of land in his hometown in southern Mindanao.

Another example is an account representative of a publishing company who hit pay dirt when he started transacting business with lawmakers.

Now he owns a publishing house, a printing company, several luxury cars and a big house in Taguig all because of the “pork barrel” that were abused by these elected officials.

But the best classic example is Janet Lim-Napoles, who only finished high school and sold fried bananas in Basilan before but who now has billions of assets and bank accounts, thanks to PDAF.

Now that PDAF has been abolished, I wonder if there will be a lot of people still interested in running for senatorial and congressional seats in the coming elections in 2016.

Supplier who owes billions in taxes may cover BIR deficit
The last time I spoke with Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares over the radio, she admitted that the BIR is still several billions short of its tax target for this year.

If, however, the BIR is really bent on meeting its tax collection target, which is a little over P2 trillion, all it needs to do is go after companies that made hundreds of billions from the “pork barrel.”

Among those on top of the list is one Mayland Enterprises, which reportedly has made hundreds of billions from overpriced textbooks and computer hardware and software for several public schools since the Estrada administration in1999.

Mayland, which is owned and operated by a certain couple Beth and Jed Gracia, has been cornering billions and billions of PDAF-funded projects in Congress in exchange for fat commissions for legislators there.

An employee at the BIR, who requested anonymity, said Mayland has not declared its correct income since 2000, paying only thousands in taxes, based on the bureau’ records.

Another source in Congress said Mayland really struck it rich in 2009 when it overpriced by as much as P450,000 a computer unit that was worth only P50,000 in the market.

Mayland delivered more than 10,000 computers to various schools funded by the PDAF and several thousands more to the Department of Education during the time of Secretary Jesli Lapus.

And because they made almost a trillion pesos over the years for delivering overpriced textbooks and computers, the Gracia couple can afford to lose millions in the casino every night, according to a friend in Pagcor.

Henares should not waste a day more. She should go after the Gracia couple and their company. They may be the answer to the BIR’s anticipated shortfall this year.



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  1. Tet Gallardo on

    But then again, the rich also amass a lot. And wealth has been a great ruse for thieves.

  2. This amuses me. There are accounting standards that are to be followed by any corporation.

    Every income tax filing requires a detailed Statement of Income and Balance Sheet. One way to evade taxes is to show partial revenues and other is to show padded expenses.

    It is easy to check the revenues reported by a company as the source of revenue is identified. If companies take money from Government it is easy to verify. If BIR sees discrepancy here, BIR can issue notice to a company. From revenues the expenses are deducted to arrive at Net Income. How can a company show a payment was made to a senator/congressman and be allowed to claim it as an expense?

    Is BIR sleeping all over this time and allowing a wholesale robbery of money of citizens? Has BIR joined hands with unlaws?

  3. Pablo Payumo on

    The saying that Filipinos love their families but not their own country is very, very true. Heck with the country as long as my family is fine. Steal $5, if caught one will be put to jail, while steal $5 million, you will be treated as a VIP (very important prisoner). Has anybody been put to jail stealing millions from the govt? None yet, because may panlalagay. And thats that sad flight of the PH.

    There are two solutions for all the problems besetting the country; first, abolish Congress and execute fully the existing laws for the poor and the rich. The country has enough laws that no one knows all of them. Second; tax all churches. They are the biggest cheats. They are the biggest landowners second only to the govt.

  4. I wonder if manny pacquiao went into politics also to keep a high income after his boxing career ends, & i wonder do any of you filipinos suspect that he was a drugs cheat in boxing & thats why he wouldnt take rbt to fight floyd mayweather even though he would have received 50% of the total purse & its estimated it would be the biggest purse ever in the history of boxing. I doubt any would suspect manny pacquiao of any wrong doing & thats how filipinas past & present have been & will continue to get away with stealing the countries money.

    I also wonder what other scams there are for politicians. I know i read a senators monthly salary is P90,000, but can rise with bonus’s, allowances & being on different comittees to P1,400,000 per month. If that is correct then something is surely wrong in this country,. It was also like renato coronas incom, on top of his monthy income he had all these expenses & bonus’s & it was more than his monthly salary. He had about 5 different christmas bonus’s or allowances, he had a P20,000 rice allowance, he had a hardship allowance, i think all these things need looking at as thats a very mild form of corruption or maybe that isnt the right word but its not fair & not right.

  5. Robert San Juan on

    I agree with Erwin Tulfo. All big companies who had transactions with the government
    should undergo deeper scrutiny by BIR and Commission on Audit. One good idea is to have all transactions be transparent, and should be open to the public

  6. I agree with all the statements on this article. These so called honorable men and women in Congress will be the next denial kings and queens when their names appear on the list of PDAF scam. I hope you include also the FFCCI, which was being used by a congressman in Western Mindanao. He used to have the official receipts in the his congressional district office and his staff was ready to issue once needed. It only means, that somebody was a dummy to this NGO.

  7. mikhail hieronymus on

    There is nothing new about people joining politics since I was in high school. The salary, compare to the expenses does not compute. You do not have to be a CPA or an Economic major to know that. Old folks in my hometown knows that even when I was still in high school. From councilor, mayor, governor and up are all doing their best on how to steal money from the government treasury. The only things that changes is the way they steal it and the amount they steal. We are all basically corrupt if given a chance. Sad but true!