Pork oozes from 2014 national budget

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MILITANT group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) claimed that the national budget for 2014, which was recently signed by President Benigno Aquino 3rd, is filled with pork barrel funds.

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KMU said that legislators’ pork funds previously under the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), which the Supreme Court has ruled unconstitutional, have merely been included in the budgets of various government agencies and that legislators can access the said funds through “recommendations.”

The group also noted that the easily visible presidential pork in the P2.3 trillion national budget amounts to P522 billion composed of Special Purpose Funds (P283 billion), Unprogrammed Funds (P139 billion), Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Program funds (P20 billion) and Personnel Benefits fund and the Reconstruction and Rehabilitation fund (P80 billion).

“Aquino approved the 2014 national budget like a thief in the night, when everyone was trying to enjoy the holidays. He clearly does not want this national budget scrutinized because it still contains a lot of pork barrel funds,” Roger Soluta, the group’s secretary general, said.

“The 2014 national budget clearly shows that Aquino wants to retain the pork barrel system, contrary to the demand of a huge and still growing number of Filipinos. He [Aquino]is the Pork Barrel King, the No. 1 defender of a system that has enriched not only Napoles but many politicians in the country,” Soluta added.

On December 20, President Aquino signed the P2.265-trillion national budget for 2014. But the budget approved by lawmakers is about P4 billion lower than the President’s proposal of P2.268 trillion.

President Aquino has said that the government remains strong despite the pork barrel controversy.

Vice President Jejomar Binay earlier waved his P200 million social fund, including the 15 senators.

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