Youth groups join campaign to end ‘pork’

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STUDENT leaders from various universities and national youth groups under the Youth Act Now! network will be joining the nationwide signature campaign and protests against the pork barrel system.

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In a press conference at the University of the Philippines in Manila, Youth Act Now co-convenor and National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) national president Sarah Jane Elago and leaders of youth and student groups said they will join the campaign to gather six million signatures to abolish all kinds of pork barrel in government.

The collection of signatures kicked off yesterday at the Cebu City Plaza Independencia in time for the commemoration of the Sigaw ng Pugadlawin, the historic event that marked the beginning of the Philippine revolution against Spanish conquerors.

“An intensified and more decisive battle to end corruption starts today,” Elago said.

The youth network participated as member of the preparatory committee and one of the leading groups present in the People’s Congress in Cebu. The congress was also attended by leaders and representatives from organizations seeking a stop to the system of patronage.

“We are here to affirm our fervent vigor to step up the fight and act now to end the system of corruption,” Victor Villanueva, the network’s spokesperson, said.

The people’s initiative bill seeks to scrap all forms of pork barrel. It requires endorsement of at least six million or 10 percent of the total registered voters nationwide with at least three percent of all voters in every legislative district before the Commission of Elections verifies it and allows a referendum.

The youth network reiterated that several legal measures are being undertaken to seek accountability from the Aquino administration in connection with the pork barrel system and Disbursement Acceleration Program that were both outlawed by the Supreme Court.

“Our demand for accountability from the Aquino government will remain unswerving. The people’s initiative bill is another significant step in our strategic effort to relieve the system of corruption and incriminate the Thief Executive and his cohorts,” Elago said.

Youth Act Now invited the Filipino youth and other sectors to attend the initial signature event for people’s initiative and massive protest against corruption on Monday at Rizal Park in Manila.

The youth network also urged all voters to sign up at booths that will be set up in churches, local government offices and schools.

League of Filipino Students spokesperson and Youth Act Now co-convenor Charlotte Velasco said young people should join the upcoming mass actions against corruption.

“The corrupt system and the government that perpetuates it will both fall, and the people will make sure it does. We will assert it through various ways – either by curtailing the flow of corrupt funds through people’s initiative, dismantling the President’s crimes through the impeachment trial, and staging massive protests seeking for serious and long-lasting system change,” Velasco said.

The Kabataan party-list has also expressed its full support for the campaign to pass a bill that will abolish the pork barrel system through people’s initiative.

“We commit to mobilizing all of our regional chapters, and our 90,000 strong nationwide memberships towards the success of this effort,” Rep. Terry Ridon said.

“The Makabayan bloc filed House Bill House Bill No. 1535 in July last year, which seeks to dismantle the pork barrel system, and is similar to the one being pushed by the People’s Congress now. Yet over a year has already passed and the bill has yet to be calendared for committee deliberation. That is why I and my colleagues in Makabayan have decided to throw our support to the People’s Initiative,” Ridon said.

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6 Comments

  1. Arch. Lito L. Mallonga on

    It is a wake up call to all. No more padrino at kakilala kilala. Pork
    should be scrap once and for all. Corruption starts from top to bottom
    and it has been going on for a very long time since the death of our late
    and beloved Pres, Ramon Magsaysay.

    As well all know when you do transaction in any of the branches of
    our government there are two drawers when you apply. One is the
    speed one and the other is slow. Or in other case if you apply your
    application is above or below depending on how much you give
    under the table as we all see.

    So it is no longer an issue as this is called SOP to move faster.
    Shame on the system we have We can bring laws but do we really
    implement them. So sad to say it but that is the reality in the Philippines.
    So lets support all those students to rally and scrap the Pork Barrel
    this way all those said Honorable Leaders won’t abuse the taxes that
    are being taken by them for their own personal gain.

    More should be put to jail regardless on any parties affiliations.
    No more excuses of using the hospitals and doctors as their sanctuary.
    Lumang tugtugin na ito isama na rin is PGMA.

  2. Alfredo a.k.a Usi Sero on

    Let’s support the people’s initiative. I believe we all dream of the time when Philippines is run by people who are sincere in their desire to serve the people – NOT desire to enrich themselves. Leaders whose loyalty to their party is secondary to their love for the country – NOT loyal to the person who assigns juicy government position. Leaders who set the road to recovery and continued progress – NOT the person who stirs the country towards destruction. We don’t need politicians who promises that they can fix the problems besetting our government if elected…it will take decades to repair the damage done by previous administrations including PNoy’s administration. This people’s initiative is a good starting point to rid the government of politicians who are only looking to enrich themselves through pork.

  3. wilmer andrada on

    I would like to widen the scope of the campaign beyond Pork. How about a battle to end all kinds of corruption in government. These include the practice of kickbacks and under the table deals common among politicians like the overpriced parking deck in Makati and other overpriced government buildings. The NBI should be more vigilant in coordination with the office of the Ombudsman, COA The Department of Justice and other investigative agencies in pursuing this pathologic kleptokracy in our government operations.If Congress is stalling the Freedom of Information Bill because these politicians are trying to cover their sleek practices of anomalies, I think the Supreme Court should mandate it as part of our Freedom of Speech and should also be a part of these coming campaign.

  4. why are some identified with the communist joining this moves? this action is the same during the Marcos era when he’s in the peak of fighting communism. am just curious.

  5. I want to take part to this so called people’s initiative to eliminate any form of pork in our national budget. But I could not simply go to Manila for the signing. Is there a signature campaign also here in northern Luzon at the schools or churches?