ADVOCATES of a people’s initiative campaign to abolish all forms of pork barrel funds have put their activities “on hold” as they await the outcome of the case against the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) at the Supreme Court (SC).
According to former Chief Justice Reynato Puno, his group would await the SC decision and make their next move based on the order. He said any “adverse” court ruling faces strong opposition from him and other members of his group.
“It depends on the tenor of the SC ruling. We are waiting for the decision on DAP,” Puno told The Manila Times.
He, however, stressed that while the PI campaign slowed down a bit, it would kick back to life again once the DAP is declared legal. Puno believes that like the scrapped Priority Development Assistance Fund, the DAP “diminished Congress’ power to appropriate.”
Late last year, Puno was tasked to write the proposed law that abolishes the pork barrel. He is the main proponent of the People’s Initiative move to correct the distortions in the use of public funds.
Puno clarified that the intention of the Peoples’ Initiative that he and his colleagues are endorsing is to pass a new law that would correct the “distortions” in the present system of government budgeting which is prone to abuse.
Unlike the previous initiatives during the time of former Presidents Fidel Ramos and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the one they are pushing is not meant to amend the Constitution.
His pet measure, he then explained, would put “reasonable restrictions” on government funds following the “one fund concept” wherein all government incomes become part of the national treasury prior to appropriation and disbursement.