• Scrap-pork draft law done by November

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    THE People’s Initiative campaign for a new law that abolishes the pork barrel will go into full swing by the end of November, when the draft of the measure shall have been presented by its proponents.

    “Before the end of November the draft will be finished. [As I told the other proponents], throw me the idea and I will write the law.” This was announced by former Supreme Court chief justice Reynato Puno to the editors and reporters of The Manila Times on Monday.

    Puno is the main proponent of the People’s Initiative move to correct the distortions in the use of public funds which he said “diminished Congress’ power to appropriate.”

    He said he and the organizers of the Million People March and the other supporters of the move will meet November 8 to 9 in Cebu City for a People’s Congress, adding that the campaign will be sustained through similar summits.

    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.

    “There are three instances where People’s Initiative can be used. First is for Charter Change. Second, to enact a national law and third, to enact local laws or ordinances. The previous People’s Initiatives failed because those were done toward the end of their [Arroyo and Ramos’] terms,” Puno said.

    The new measure, he said, 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.

    “There should be no off-budget items . . . dapat objective ang [paggamit ng]pera to avoid political patronage,” Puno said.

    Pork barrel funds such as the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) were both abused because their uses were not specifically defined in the General Appropriations Act, he said.

    The “distortions” caused an “imbalance of power” that has “tremendous adverse consequences,” he said.

    “I am not saying that this will completely solve the problem,” Puno said, but if the People’s Initiative succeeds it would be beneficial to both government and the people.

    If the new law is passed through the People’s Initiative, Puno said it would be easier to pass other laws such as one that would prohibit political dynasties.

    “Sky is the limit,” Puno replied when asked what other laws may be passed through People’s Initiative. However, he admitted that the process will not be easy since it could be sabotaged by groups with vested interests or political clans that maybe affected.

    The law requires that the People’s Initiative petition be signed by 10 percent of the total registered voters nationwide with a minimum of 3 percent of voters in each congressional district.

    Besides being prone to sabotage, Puno said the new law must be crafted in a manner that it will not contravene any existing law or the Constitution. Otherwise, it could be questioned before the Supreme Court and declared unconstitutional.

    If that happens, he said, their efforts would be wasted.

    “That’s why we must be sure,” he said.

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    7 Comments

    1. The intention of the PI may be good. However, the budget allocation is still in the hands of CORRUPT congressmen elected by the same PINOY voters majority of them are prone to vote buying and the government agencies are infested by the same bad eggs who will use the same funds and get the “kickback (REBATES, COMMISSIONS,etc.) in every transactions.

      This is evil of DEMONcracy. The 3 main branches of government riddled by demon-possessed minds of greed and corruption from within their minds and hearts ready to device every shrewd schemes to perpetrate the desire to STEAL…

      May the LORD raised up new breed of “juan de la cruz” as leaders and enlighted “juan de la cruz voters” who will stand against the evils in government and the people behind them. People who live within their means (pay check salaries) and who are willing to feed their family with honest to goodness SALARY & PERKS in the government service.

      After all hindi naman nila madadala sa hukay ang mga NAKAW NA YAMAN at mayroon FINAL AUDIT na magaganap sa TAKDANG panahon KUNG PAANO NILA KINITA, KINUHA, NINAKAW O BINIGAY ng MAGNANAKAW bilang hati o COMMISSION or REBATE nila.

    2. wilmer Andrada on

      I hope the whole nation will wake up and pursue this initiative.We need the support of the media,all the holders of I phones, internet, all the sectors both public and private. enterprises We need organizers from the smallest barangay to the biggest metropolis. Freedom of Information should not be withheld unless national security is involved,We should demand true transparency, accountability and honesty in all branches of the government. We should demand the abolition of the PDAF,DAP,Discretionary funds,.All government royalties such as the Malampaya Funds should go to the National Treasury not to the office of the President.Put all the lawmakers under strict government salaries with Zero Perks.If we take out all this financial incentives from them, I wonder who would run in the next election.

    3. I am 100% for the initiative. I would like to be one of the ‘movers’. I am based out of the country, but I belong to groups, civic, professional and otherwise, and be of help. I’d be glad if someone will get in touch with me for more particulars. Thanks.

    4. this initiative is long time coming! the philippines is blessed with so much natural resources (deposits and renewable) and very fertile land that produces some of the best tropical fruits highly sought by lots of countries and can not be rivaled globally. not considering that most filipinos possess inherent talent, knowledge and experience that when given equal opportunity can be used to compete with the best minds in the world. if this enabling law from people’s initiative succeeds, more laws that truly emanates from the people (not from these politico-crocodiles) can be enacted to benefit of all filipinos to uplift the standard of living to the ranks of developed countries.

    5. this initiative is long time coming! the philippines is blessed with so much natural resources (deposits and renewable) and very fertile land that produces some of the best tropical fruits highly sought by lots of countries as they can not be rivaled globally. not considering that most filipinos possess inherent talent, knowledge and experience that when given equal opportunity can be use to compete with the best minds in the world. if this enabling law from people’s initiative succeeds, more laws that truly emanates from the people (not from these politico-crocodiles) can be enacted to benefit of all filipinos to uplift the standard of living to the ranks of developed countries.