Roxas’ P13-B pork/campaign kitty

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Very few of this newspaper’s readers, I’d bet, have heard of this Administration’s “Pamana” program, and it’s probably the way they want it to be.

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In billions of pesos. (Pamana funds include P1.5 billion from the budget item “Socio-Economic Component of the Normalization Process”

In billions of pesos. (Pamana funds include P1.5 billion from the budget item “Socio-Economic Component of the Normalization Process”

“Pamana” stands for the “Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan,” purportedly intended, as an interior and local government department paper claims, to fund programs aimed at “addressing the root causes of armed conflict through interventions on the ground.”

The 2015 budget allocated it a huge amount of P7.3 billion. Add to that a related program called “Socio-Economic Component of the Normalization Process,” costing P2.5 billion, and this Administration has a further P9.7 billion kitty that it can use in any way it wants, just as long as the funds are spent in “seven Pamana zones,” supposedly where the problem of insurgency exists.

These are, as they appear in a government list, the “Cordillera, Bicol-Cordillera-Mindoro, Samar, Negros-Panay, Davao-Compostela Valley-CARAGA, Central Mindanao, Zamboanga-Basilan-Sulu-Tawi-Tawi.”

“Conflict areas” they certainly are, but any political analyst would recognize them as regions that are not only the country’s vote-rich areas but also – such as Central Mindanao – where “traditionally” the political bosses deliver the votes.

That P9.7 billion fund is larger than the budgets of such departments as tourism, science and technology, and trade and industry. It is nearly the equivalent of the P10 billion allocated for socialized housing.

It doesn’t seem coincidental that the Pamana funds of the Interior and Local Government department, headed by Mar Roxas – still the President’s likely candidate in 2016 – have steadily increased from P1 billion in 2012 to P1.5 billion in 2014 to a huge P3.1 billion this year.

The DILG received under the 2015 budget law another P1.5 billion for its
participation in the “Socio-Economic Component of the Normalization Process.”

What does the DILG Pamana funds finance? According to its report, “(small) local roads, evacuation centers, water supply systems, community infrastructure projects, as well as “capacities of LGUs.” How are the funds released? Mainly through the municipalities.

That is, Pamana is just like pork-barrel funds, the only difference being, that here, they are utilized in the “conflict” areas. Who decides which municipalities receive the Pamana funds? Not Congress, but the Interior and Local Government secretary, Roxas.

The Commission on Audit could have enlightened us if Pamana funds, indeed, are “addressing the root causes of the conflict.” Its latest publicly-available audit report on the DILG proper (i.e. the department itself, not its attached agencies), however, is only for 2012.

Strangely, it reviewed all the DILG programs such as that on implementing the “Performance Challenge Fund” and on protecting senior citizens. Nothing, though, on its Pamana funds – whether it used these funds appropriately, or even if it used at all the P1 billion given it in 2012. Does that mean that COA would provide the public with a report on the DILG’s use of its 2015 Pamana fund of P3 billion, two years later, in 2017?

The P3 billion DILG Pamana funds, together with the P1.5 billion for the “normalization process,” aren’t the only pork-like money Roxas can disburse at his whim.

The bigger one actually, is the DILG’s P5.7 billion allocation from the P21-billion Bottom-Up Budgeting Projects (BUB), as I discussed in my column on Friday (“The new pork is BUB, boys”, Jan 20).

The DILG’s BUB allocation, in fact, is the biggest, followed by that of the Agriculture department, with P4.3 billion worth of BUB projects. DILG under the 2015 budget also has P1.8 billion for its Potable Water Supply project and P1.2 billion “Housing Program for Informal Settler Families.” (Why is the DILG involved in such tasks that are really those of other departments?)

Noble the purported intentions of these programs are, they take on a diabolical motive if one realizes that it will be Roxas who will determine which municipality or even barangay would get a BUB project, a potable water well, or a housing unit.

Altogether, this pork-like kitty directly under Roxas’ control this year amounts to P13.3 billion. Support his bid for the presidency in 2016, or promise to do so, and you’ll get your share of these funds for your town.

I bet that amount will increase to P15 billion in 2016, as nobody is protesting such scandalous de facto campaign funds being given by Congress to Roxas.

No wonder that despite his consistently low voter-preference ratings (despite the efforts of mercenary pollsters to boost them), Roxas isn’t giving up. Why, he even exudes an inexplicable confidence.

tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com
FB: Rigoberto Tiglao

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26 Comments

  1. Haaaayyyy Nakuuuuu! on

    KOKIS, nawa’y magkamali ka sa hula mo….patay nanaman tayo, mawawala na ang Pinas sa mapa. Magiging katawa-tawa nanaman tayo, isa nanamang magnanakaw in the making ba? Inakupo, kahabagan sana tayo! Yari na naman tayo sa mga kurakot at kahirapan, at walang mga utak.

  2. Whatever you call the 13 billion fund for DILG, it is NOT “pork barrel” as construed by the Supreme Court in its ruling. It could be an indirect incentives for LGUs to support Liberal Party presidential candidate (mar ROXAS, if anointed) in return for funding their local projects. It is important that the funds are spent on funding the projects and not LGUs Mayor or Governors pocket. The DILG monitoring and documentation to assure straight funding of projects must be in place and effectively tight in auditing the funds. Call it a “war chest” for the 2016 elections but still it will go to the indirect benefits of the voting populace. The fact that the funds are government that goes to legitimate LGUs projects do not change its classification to ” pork barrel “. They are direct funds earmarked by Congress in favor of the Executive branch this time the DILG, which is no different if allocated to DPWH or DSWA, as such cannot be deemed “pork barrel”, as defined by the SC.

  3. Incompetence … Impunity…. Disregard for improvememt of people’s lives…… Deteriorating infrastructure….Burdensome taxation with little to show for…….disregard of democratic institutions … Non functioning government… Abuse of government officials…..double standard of justice …… All these we will continue when Roxas takes over…..God help us

  4. i think if you sum up all the miss-use of public funds of this adminstration include PDAF and DAP…the graft and corruption of all past administration might have be superceded.

    • Might? – that’s being superfluous, hijo. With the size of legally plundered funds to the tune of at least PP160B, sila na ang pinakamalaking magnanakaw compared to all past presidents combined. But you can also lay that blame on all the sheeps who “voted” the guy into office as well as those who manipulated the machines to make that the guy as the “winner”. That includes Manong Ernie who kept his mouth shut and not disclose the psychological problems his friend had about his son.

  5. What happens with the administration’s straight and narrow path mantra? This is insane! Evidently, the administration will do whatever it takes to support its ally, no matter how incompetent! Nothing will happen in our country if this system continues.

  6. Hurrah another revelation of how taxpayers money are spent in illegal ways to gain votes for an LP presidential candidate next year. All these money will just go to the pockets of all politicans until the barangay captain in such areas.

  7. It’s amazing how the government always finds a place to put in these pork barrel funds. Thank you Mr. Tiglao for getting this out in the public. The public deserves to know where these budgets for so-called projects are actually going.

  8. kaya nga sinisira si binay ng senado para bumaba ang rating, at pag bumaba na puwede ng dayain at hindi na mahahalata. Laki ba naman ng budget ng dilg. Pero wag paka siguro si mar, meron pang erap na puwedeng humabol at hindi mo puwedeng dayain lang ng basta basta

  9. Erinda Marquez on

    Stuff like this should be exposed to the public. Thanks for the information, Mr. Tiglao. Mr. Palengke is now devising his evil ploys in order to win the coveted presidential seat. Let us just hope that this time around the masses will open their eyes and use their votes wisely.

  10. He may look mongoloid but he is smart to go around the constitution’s requirements
    to prevent government officials from wasting money. Members of congress were paid so they now just close their eyes to the billions being misappropriated by the mongoloid.

  11. Let us elect Cardinal Tagle as the President in 2016. Let us get the majority of the signatures of the 6-7 million who attended the Luneta Pope mass last 18th of Jan. to convince him. God save The Philippines. We should have credible choice for the Filipinos in 2016.

  12. PNoy & the liberals are no different than past presidents when they all manipulated the national budgets to fit their own personal agendas. And it is not going to be any different regardless of who wins in 2016. They will do exactly the same things that this administration is doing.

    • He has done worse because he promised us more and we believed him ………. A great disappointment …. To his dad … His mom and most of all the poor and marginalized who were once before let down by another Aquino , his mom

  13. Vicente Penetrante on

    Politicians always have a way of circumventing the law. The administration (LP) budgets a big amount for the coming election, even though there is a law limiting expenses of campaigning. Campaigning period is never followed, campaigning starts after the last election.

    People with money can bully their way around. Look at the rich prisoners in the maximum security of Bilibid.

  14. believe you me. mar will be the president in 2016. aside from the budgetary kitty, mar has the pcos and the blessing of uncle sam.

    • i hate to agree with you regarding your take that boy pick up will be elected by crooked means as president. he is really the man to beat and not biNOY considering the odds, billions of taxpayer money and the magical hocos pcos at his command, are stacked in his favor

  15. Leodegardo Pruna on

    Just as what DSWD did with the indigent families and street children who were treated to a vacation in Nasugbu to hide them from the eyes of the Pope and which Archbishop Cruz condemned as a “sham and shame”, P-Noy and his KKK are out again to hocus-PCOS the forthcoming 2016 election using peoples’ money. And, most likely a large chunk of the money would go to their pockets. God bless the Philippines.

  16. To allocate 13Billion to fund various legitimate projects that are so determined by DILG as will ameliorate or improve local livelihood and governance of various LGUs, whether for housing of informal settlers or promote the social and economic conditions of the poor, is a laudable objectives of funding them. Though in the final analysis such funding is determined and given by DILG who’s head is Mar Roxa and augment his political aspiration to become the successor of Pnoy is a valid and legitimate funding as long as the funds will indeed go the projects of LGUs and NOT to the pocket of Roxas and the local politicians. Politics is a fair game of winning the inclinations, hearts and minds of the voting populace by promoting their well-being and welfare by government findings of the projects that indirectly benefits the people BUT not funding or literally BUYING the votes of the people. The projects can be improving local infrastructures, such as roads and bridges, schools, markets, assistance to local livelihood, like agri-businesses like farm products and food products (poultry, piggery, rice and corn production), tourism, potable water and electricity productions, fishery propagation, or cooperative financing for municipal or provincial micro-financing that helps local entrepreneurs. it does not sound or appear anomalous that the DILG is allocated 13 Billion for various projects that may overlap with other lateral agencies like Housing or DPWH since LGUs are legitimately under DILG. Further, it is Congress, who has the power of the purse, which earmarked the funds for DILG. While you see it as an electioneering funds for the 2016 Presidential election, the funding is validly allocated and does not amount to a “pork barrel” type banned and ruled unconstitutional by Supreme Court since the funds are specifically allocated and not diverted funds of the Executive branch. DILG therefore had the legal right and obligation to spend the funds for proper…

    • the fund is a pork barrel variation. Since it is controlled by one man, it will be used for his political agenda. Don’t be a yellowtard zombie. Think smart.

  17. Roxas and Aquino understand that money is king in the Philippines. They are experts in using money as bribes to get what they want. Roxas with a large enough election war chest can be elected to the presidency, defeating anyone. Look at how Aquino just kept on increasing the bribes until almost everyone took orders. The PDAF was doubled then tripled. DAP was created to provide bribes so big that few could refuse. Now we have money, normally spread among different departments, being given to Roxas’ DILG. Roxas will win if he is allowed to spend this money freely.

  18. Thanks for your info on where taxpayers funds are being channeled to benefit this administrations choice for President like Mar Roxas and Grace Poe. Sadly , we need not be dictated on who we should choose to be our next President and hopefully anyone caught buying votes in any shape or form will be penalized and disqualified.The biggest problem would be the Cpmelec, not unless it becomes independent meaning no political influence , we would not have an honest election results.