Mabuhay Filipino Thinkers!
Recently, we are bombarded by numerous advocacy and protest actions seeking to repeal all kinds of Legislative pork barrel and other relevant funds like the “Presidential Special Purpose Fund.”
While it may be true that we are caught in the middle of the argument whether it is time to reform the whole system of governance and shift to Parliamentary system while other people are pushing for a snap elections even though we just finished the most expensive and iconic Presidential Polls in the Philippines history.
Well, those ideas will take time and burn a lot of cash plus the clear fact that we are just going to address a wrong problem while we (Filpino constituents all around the world) will still be enjoying the same root cause of all these collective misfortune as a country.
Here at Think Philippines we will give you a better perspective on why abolishing pork barrel alone will not make this country more progressive while our intellectual brothers and sisters are busy discussing for further systematic reforms that they believe we need to make this country operate better again.
One of the problems – Systematic corruption because of Pork Barrel, Presidential Special Purpose Fund and more. Some people think that by abolishing these funds / root of corruption ALONE can make our Legislative and Executive branch of Government more productive and efficient to focus on their delegated task. However, we believe the otherwise.
One of the numerous possible solution – On top of exerting a great effort on the supposed scrapping of Pork Barrel and other funds with similar kind we believe that it is also pragmatic to raise the issue of an expensive election system.
Marahil marami ho sa atin ay di na mahihirapan unawain na pag binuwag mo ang kanilang “supply” ng corruption, sila ay patuloy na hindi pa rin magiging epektibo sa kanilang trabaho bilang mambabatas o lider ng isang ehekutibong sangay ng gobyerno dahil ang “demand” o kanilang pagkakagastusan ay hindi rin nawawala.
Just take a look on how the councilors of Quezon City spend millions of money just to win a council seat with a salary of less than 50,000.00 pesos a month. Do you think its reasonable? How can they get back their “campaign expenses” ?
We are still in the City Council, how about raising the bar higher and go to another set of legislators at the national level : The world’s famous Philippine’s House of Representatives.
While in Taiwan and Korea for example they almost kill each other because of their passion to serve their countries and for their bills they wanted to pass here in the Philippines you will not be surprised to read a news that our supposed Lawmakers are busy investigating “Showbiz Scandals” , grandstand on numerous speaking engagement and hosting job at Eat Bulaga ( A Filipino noontime variety show ) while on the other hand their real priority function is to legislate laws and represent their constituents.
Here in the Philippines, a congressional aspirant should have at least 10,000,000.00 pesos – 30,000,000.00 pesos to successfully run a campaign otherwise you will just end up as a nuisance in the eyes of your constituents. Imagine the cost of serving the country with a salary not higher than 90,000.00 of the President. Is it really feasible? Now, we will dig deeper to the story.
I read a book “How To Win An Elections” with various contributors like Malou Tiquia of Publicus, former Governor of Isabela and current Comelec Commissioner Grace Padaca, former Governor Among Ed Panlilio to name afew. They stated that our election system is really expensive and while donors are important it cannot be avoided that there will be a point that they will all be your political baggages because :
Syempre, hindi naman pwede na itong mga negosyante na ito ay magdo-donate lang dahil naniniwala sila sayo. There will be a point that most of them will ask you a favor and majority of them will become a political baggages ika nga nila in short, Hihingi ng pabor kapalit ng donasyon o tulong.
Now, assuming that we successfully scrapped the Pork Barrel and other similar funds. What’s next? Can we now expect our legislative officials to be more pragmatic and efficient? The answer is clear NO!
I remember an interview of Teddy Boy Locsin Jr. in ANC with Tony Velasquez :
Not all lawmakers are there for Pork Barrel, some of them are there for power and prestige.
Oops! Another predicament for the country, meaning hindi lang pala Pork Barrel / Pera ang gusto at nagiging problema ng mga congressmen? Ano pa?
Power and Prestige are more important most of the time, that’s why we have numerous political dynasties all over the country.
A 21 year old party boy governor who doesn’t speak good Bicolano recently got elected in Cam Sur is a good example of this logic. What’s the solution?
Reform and lower down the expensive election system of the country to equalize the opportunity of serving the Filipino people.
If we can spend Php 27,000,000,000.00 (27 Billion worth of Pork Barrel for our Lawmakers) per year for Welcome Archs, Unlimited re-asphalting of roads, doling out of basic services where it should be mandatory in the first place backed by the support of the respective LGU officials with their IRA (Internal Revenue Allotment) and donations from numerous International NGOs and partner countries.
Why cannot we spend a fraction of that once every 3 years to ensure an election system that will promote meritocracy in the Government?
Why not spend money on debates per cities and municipalities? Why not spend money to digitally connect all our fellow Filipinos to lower down the cost of education similar on what they are doing in Thailand and to raise the standard in the Philippine Education system.
No funds? Think again.
Right now, you are about to close this window and continue to your normal work. Just think of this question :
“Kung ma hinto ora mismo ang Pork Barrel at iba pang pondo na kanilang kayang pagnakawan, saan sila kukuha ng pondo sa mahal na sistema ng eleksyon sa Pilipinas kung saan naging kultura na ang mag abot ng sobre kasabay ng mga caucus o tumpukan bayan.”
Jueteng? Drugs? Illegal Smuggling? Condoning Tax Evaders? Illegal Entertainment Clubs?
You just hit the nail right on the head! Now, instead of calling to Scrap Pork Barrel alone, let’s also ask ourselves if would it be a burden to ask also our government officials and the President to Reform the expensive election system as well.
# End #
Edwardo Miguel Guevarra Roldan
Isang Samahan, Isang Pilipinas (ISIP) and Think Philippines!
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