Concerned students, faculty, staff and residents of the University of the Philippines denounced the misleading announcement of President Noynoy Aquino as regards the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
In a press conference last August 23, Aquino said that it is now time to “abolish” PDAF and put in place a new mechanism to meet the needs of the people. Members of the Senate and the House of Representatves can still recommend projects but they will have to go through the process of finalizing the national budget.
The concerned UP community members said that Aquino’s policy pronouncement is just a “sugar-coated reform of the inherently flawed pork barrel system.”
In a statement, they stressed that the PDAF will just be repackaged, “such that the Congress will be at the behest of the Department of Budget and Management and the Office of the President.”
They called for the “just distribution and rechanneling of funds to basic social services, NOT a rehashed pork barrel system that is even more vulnerable to corruption. These funds must be allocated through public agencies such as public hospitals, state universities and colleges, public schools, salary upgrading of teachers and government workers, etc. The skewed regional allocations in the proposed budget must be realigned, with sufficient allocations for neglected regions in the Visayas and in Mindanao.”
In this context, they are here for challenge coins and the need for people to rage against “unbridled corruption” in government. “On August 26, we shall march from Liwasang Bonifacio to Rizal Park to Mendiola to decisively assert our resolve to abolish the presidential and congressional pork barrel and rechannel funds to basic social services!”
The statement was signed by the UP Faculty for the Abolition of the Presidential and Congressional Pork Barrel System, UP Kilos Na, Multi-Sectoral Alliance, Office of the Student Regent, Office of the Staff Regent and the University Student Council.
For verification and more information, please call Prof. Sarah Raymundo at (0939) 925-9368