The rains have come again and it hasn’t stopped. Typhoon Maring has flooded parts of the country all over again and, here we go again, as citizens tweet rescue operations and towns and barangays are evacuated as the water levels rises and submerge people’s homes underwater and turn the city into an un-romantic version of Waterworld.
We have gone through this before, many times actually, in the form of Typhoon Ondoy and Typhoon Peping and countless others. Citizens have taken the bulk of the relief operations and have responded faster than the Philippine government has and after the countless of times this has happened, the question remains, why is it still happening and why hasn’t anything been done since?
What will it take for the government to fix the flooding problem and to be more ready to deal with the disasters that come? It will take millions and millions of pesos to fix the country to prepare us and make us more suitable to deal with the flooding problem, which, let’s face it, we will probably have to deal with every three years now — with global warming ruining the whole environment.
The thing is, we have the money to do it. We have over ten billion of public funds that could have gone into the development of disaster relief and protection in the form of the Priority Assistance Development Fund (PDAF), also known as pork barrel, but as the recent scandal has proven that the money has all gone into the pockets of private individuals and the government officials who authorised the release of the money.
What makes matters worse is that as the public clamour for the abolishment of the pork barrel, President Noynoy Aquino finally made a statement saying that he believes in the pork barrel and refuses to abolish it. Instead, he promises to create better security measures to ensure that it won’t be abused, as it has been for many, many years.
For over ten years (and maybe more), the pork barrel has been used as a means for which politicians could steal millions and millions of tax payer’s money and not be held liable or accountable for it. The pork barrel was meant for the legislature to provide the necessary finances to help build infrastructure and alleviate famine and poverty and enhance and support health and education programs.
Yet people are still going hungry, getting poorer, and the country’s infrastructure is still a bleeding, fucking mess. It the span of several years, we have suffered through the horrendous flooding from typhoons and now that Typhoon Maring has come, we still find ourselves with the same difficulties we’ve had since Typhoon Ondoy so many years ago.
Billions of pesos had gone into the pockets of rich people and the country is still left in ruins, with the middle class and the select few of the upper class doing what they can to help out the underprivileged and the disenfranchised and the government left powerless and without the funds to make the necessary changes to fix the problem.
I cannot believe that our president insists that the pork barrel should not be abolished and insists that all that is needed are better safeguards to ensure that the money isn’t stolen. I can’t believe, after seeing the report of the Commission on Audit of the usage of pork barrel from 2007 to 2009, that he can safeguard and keep watch the usage of pork from hereon. This is a corrupt system that has been misused for over ten years (or since it’s beginning) and he feels that he can regulate or control greed and a faulty system.
I think it is a silly notion and rather weak and stupid and silly.
Unless, of course, the allegations are true that the president’s own personal pork barrel is estimated at a trillion pesos; then it makes perfect sense as to why he refuses to abolish the PDAF. A trillion pesos. I can’t even imagine that amount.
Right now, as I type this, parts of the country is going underwater and there is all this money that can be (could have been) used to fix the urban development of the country and instead, is hanging in the air, left to the devices of men and women who have not made any improvements in the country’s state of affairs.
Our economy is growing but reports show that hunger is on a rise, the poor are getting poorer, schools are in serious need of improvement, and the conditions of the streets are in horrendous conditions.
Priority Assistance Development Fund? Really? What assistance? What priorities? I want to know. Because ten billion pesos has been proven misused and unaccounted for in the past six years and who knows how much more have gone where during that time.
There are no moral and sensible reasons to retain the pork barrel under its current system. Politicians under the legislative branch should only be concerned with creating laws; not disbursing funds and creating projects. That’s the job of the executive branch; if I’m not mistaken. My knowledge of politics is immature and weak, at best, but I think I read that somewhere. What right do they have to give themselves the authority to fund projects with our money and not even be liable or held accountable to where the money goes?
Abolish the pork barrel. Get rid of this stupid system of corruption. It’s time the Philippines became the country that it could be.