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Summary and Full Text of the People’s Initiative Bill Abolishing the Pork Barrel System

25 August 2014 No Comment

AN ACT ABOLISHING THE PORK BARREL SYSTEM

Summary

The pork barrel of the President and the Congress have been exposed and condemned by the Filipino people as major sources of graft and corruption and of patronage politics and detrimental to the poor and the Filipino people.

This Act abolishes the presidential and congressional pork barrel, mandates line item budgeting, prohibits and criminalizes appropriation and use of lump sum discretionary funds, and penalizes violators with six years and one day to ten years imprisonment and disqualification from holding public office.

Definition of pork barrel

Pork Barrel is a lump sum public fund with sole discretion given to the President, legislator or group of legislators, or any public officer. The exercise of discretion by public officers relates to the allocation, release or use of these public funds, the identification or selection of projects, implementors or beneficiaries, or any or a combination of or all of these.

Mandatory acts

  • All proposed budgets shall contain only itemized or line-item appropriations, except in the case of disaster reponse, the contingency fund of up to 5% and intelligence/confidential funds of the National Security Council, the Department of National Defense and the Department of Interior and Local Governments.
  • Special Funds like Malampaya Funds and other off-budget accounts shall be included in the National Expenditure Program (NEP) to be approved by Congress. The President Social Fund is abolished.
  • All unspent, unobligated and unreleased funds by the end of the fiscal year shall revert to or remain in the General Fund and shall be subject to Congress appropriation.

Prohibited acts

The penalty of imprisonment of six years and one day to ten years and perpetual disqualification from public office shall be imposed those who commit any of the following acts:

  • Any national official (the President, his subordinate or member of Congress) who authorizes the spending of public money that is not covered by or is in violation of any appropriation law.
  • Any national official who includes a lump sum amount in any budget proposal submitted to Congress, or any member of Congress who approves the inclusion of lump sum discretionary fund in the general or supplemental appropriations acts.
  • Any member of Congress or his agent who directly or indirectly intervenes or participates in the implementation of any appropriation law through any post-enactment act or practice.
  • Any national official who declares and utilize savings in circumvention or violation of Article VI Section 25 (5) of the Constitution and this Act.
  • Any national official who withdraws unobligated funds and declares and utilize as savings said unobligated funds before the end of the fiscal year.
  • Any national official who impounds any appropriation or portion thereof unless there is an official declaration by the President of an unmanageable National Government budget deficit.
  • Any person, including a private individual, who persuades or cooperates with any national official in violating this Act.

Amendment and repealing clause

This Act may only be repealed, modified or amended by a law that has been approved by the people under the system of initiative and referendum enshrined in the Constitution.

 

Summary of the People’s Initiative Bill

 

Let’s go for 6 million signatures!  Let your signature be part of history as we enact the first national law enacted directly by the Filipino people themselves.  If enacted, our bill will dismantle one of the pillars of corruption and traditional politics and will ensure that all our taxes will go to education and other basic social services.

Stand by for the Visayas and Mindanao legs of Stand Up, Sign Up Against Pork Barrel and Corruption in the coming weeks.  Watch out also for signature booths at schools, markets, plazas, and other sites that will be set up near you.

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