Three out of five Filipinos believe that the misuse of pork barrel funds remains a reality even under President Benigno Aquino 3rd , according to a recent survey of Pulse Asia.
The survey result released on Monday also showed that majority of Filipinos – 63 percent —believe that the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel allocation for lawmakers should be abolished.
Pulse Asia conducted the survey from September 14 to 27, 2013, when plunder and malversation charges were filed against Senators Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., Juan Ponce Enrile and two former members of the House of Representatives.
Businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged brains of the pork scam, was also charged.
Investigators said the lawmakers and Napoles released some P10 billion in government money to questionable non-government organizations during the Arroyo administration.
The survey revealed that a plurality of Filipinos or 45 percent want the pork barrel system to be abolished, while 25 per cent said the releases of discretionary funds should be reduced. Meanwhile, 20 percent said the release of funds should be made more strict, and only 10 percent said the funds should be retained.
“Majority opinion among Filipinos (67%) is that the misuse of the PDAF continues to happen under the Aquino administration,” the survey said. This view is “shared by most Filipinos across geographic areas (66% to 69%) and socio-economic groupings (65% to 78%),” the survey said.
”Most Filipinos approve of President Aquino’s declaration that, ‘Panahon na upang i-abolish ang PDAF.’ This sentiment is echoed by majorities in every geographic area (60% to 65%) and socio-economic grouping (63% to 68%),” the survey added.
The Pulse Asia survey was released on the same day as the new survey by pollster Social Weather Stations that showed President Aquino’s satisfaction scores dropped to “good” in September from “very good” in June.
Palace deputy spokesman Abigail Valte, however, blamed the drop in Aquino’s ratings to his predecessor, particularly the administration of former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The lower rating “reflects the depth of anger and disappointment of the people at the way public funds have been stolen,” Valte said. “We share this anger and disappointment.”
The Pulse Asia survey was conducted among 1,200 respondents aged 18 years and above.
It added that only 14 percent disapproved of Aquino’s announcement in abolishing PDAF.
The survey underscored that only three out of 10 Filipinos believe the misuse stopped during Aquino’s term.
The survey revealed that 23 percent of Filipinos think that PDAF was used by the President to gain the support of Congress.