Department of Pork (DePork). That’s the biggest government department.
Pork barrel is the biggest business of government. It refers to unprogrammed and discretionary funds of President BS Aquino, Vice President Jejomar Binay, and 289 congressmen and 24 senators to finance their pet projects most of which are whimsical or, worse, non-existent.
Not subject to rigid scrutiny, pork is money pocketed mainly by officials on a grand scale and in scandalous amounts.
Total pork barrel allocation in the 2014 budget of P475.69 billion: 11 P449.95 billion for President Aquino, P500 million for VP Binay, and P25.24 billion pork for Congress.
If P475.69 billion of pork were abolished, the Bureau of Internal Revenue would not need to collect 43 percent of its P1.1 trillion tax effort.
If the P475.69 billion were removed from the budget, you could abolish the incorrigibly corrupt Bureau of Customs, which collects yearly taxes and duties of P269 billion or 56.5 percent of DePork’s P475.69 billion budget.
Can you imagine the reduction in corruption if the BIR and Customs were either slimmed down or abolished?
With a P475.69 billion budget, DePork is
— 1.41 times bigger than the P336.9-billion budget of the Department of Education (which educates 23.85 million children in public kinder, elementary and high school);
— 2.22 times the P213.5-billion budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways (which this year promises to pave 15,872 kms of arterial roads);
— 3.51 times the P135.4-billion budget of the Department of Interior and Local Government (which pays the salary of 146,000 policemen),
— 3.88 times the P123.1-billion budget of the Department of National Defense (which pays the salary of 130,000 soldiers and defends the national territory from Chinese intrusions),
— 8.56 times the P87.1-billion budget of the Department of Health,
— 6.33 times the P80.7-billion budget of the Department of Agriculture,
— 8.42 times the P79-billion budget of the Department of Social Welfare and Development which next year will try to help 4.44 million families with cash doleouts.
The P475.69 pork is bigger than the combined P472 billion budget of three departments: DPWH, DILG and DND, meaning it is enough to pave 15,872 kilometers of roads, pay the salaries of 146,000 policemen and 130,000 soldiers, with money to spare to double the P27.62 billion spent for AFP Modernization in the past three years.
The P475.69 billion can finance the entire P400-billion infra budget of government for 2014, with more than P75 billion left to help additional 4.2 million dirt poor families with cash doleouts. The P475 billion can pay the salaries of two-thirds of government personnel in a year.
Yet, how many people will spend the P475.69 billion? Just 315 people—the president, vice president, 24 senators and 289 congressmen.
At least 200 of these people (Aquino included) and their relatives have been in power for the past quarter century.
What did we get for their public service? A poverty incidence that has remained at 30 percent of the population (equivalent to 26 million Filipinos), hunger for half of the population, unemployment or underemployment for 12 million Filipinos, and one of the worst income inequality ratios in the world.
In the past 14 years, the world halved average poverty from 1999 levels. The Philippines did not.
Who pocketed the most pork money during 2007 to 2009 alone? Collated from the COA Report, here are the legislators who made it to the