Monday saw thousands of people march to the Luneta to protest the misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or “pork barrel” by lawmakers.
Though their numbers did not reach the targeted one million, the rally united the middle class and the rich, students and professionals, Muslims and Christians.
They bonded together not only in Luneta but in other parts of the country as well to show their outrage over the abuse of their hard earned money by the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Their message was plain and simple: “Stop misusing our money. Scrap the pork barrel!”
Trying to preempt the mass protest, the President on Friday announced the abolition of PDAF but said the lawmakers will still have a say on where to spend their funds coming from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and other line agencies.
Pnoy is hearing his bosses but he is not listening.
Is the line, “ kayo and boss ko” a mere rhetoric Mr. President?
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To avoid corruption, pass the FOI bill
Senate Public Information and Mass Media Chairman Grace Poe said that the only way to check corruption is to pass the Freedom Of Information (FOI) bill which is pending in Congress.
Poe is not the only person who believes that the FOI bill will make a difference since the public will be able to monitor government spendings from the executive level all the way to the local government units.
Even former Senator Orly Mercado acknowledges the importance of the FOI bill in checking government spendings and in preventing corruption.
But even before the “pork barrel” issue came out, several media groups, such as the National Union of Journalists (NUJP), National Press Club (NPC), and the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) have been clamoring for the passage of the measure.
They believe it is the only tool to prevent corruption in this coutry since every Filipino will have access to information on government spendings and our officials’ lifestyles.
Surprisingly, Pnoy, who keeps on talking about transparency and “daang matuwid,” refused to prioritize and include in his legislative agenda the FOI bill.
I wonder what’s keeping the President from pushing the measure in Congress?
For heaven’s sake, pass the FOI bill!
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Senate should look into garlic and onion importation
The Senate, particularly the Committee on Agriculture of Sen. Cynthia Villar, should look into the importation of onions and garlic at the south harbor and at the Manila International Container Port (MICP).
My moles at the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Bureau of Customs (BOC) say that only one person is allowed to bring in these products since Aquino came into power.
A certain Lea Cruz and her dummy corporations are the only ones reportedly given import permits (IP) by the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI).
My sources say that during the previous administrations, anybody can apply for an IP for onions and garlic.
But when DA Secretary Proceso Alcala took over the department, only Cruz was given the authority to impot them.
However, Alcala was quick to defend the issuance of IPs to Cruz saying she has the blessings of the onion producers. He added that this is also to protect the industry.
How can we protect the local onion and garlic industry when Cruz would import over 400 containers a month of these commodities?
Besides, isn’t it against our Constitution to run a cartel? Cruz clearly runs an onion and garlic cartel.
I’m sure that when Sen. Villar reads this, she will ask Alcala to explain himself before the Senate.