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Tinio: Fatter hidden pork for solons in 2015 budget

17 September 2014 No Comment

PRESS RELEASE

16 September 2014
Reference: ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio (09209220817)
 
On the first day of plenary deliberations of the 2015 national budget, a progressive lawmaker revealed that unconstitutional pork for legislators is even heftier under the 2015 budget, a total allocation of P27.39 billion and P94.44 million for each solon.  The total hidden pork increased by nearly 32% from the P20.76 billion in the 2014 budget while each solon’s share shot up from P71.6 million.
ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio L. Tinio noted that the following assistance programs of the “hidden pork agencies” infused with funds realigned from the item formerly known as Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) are still funded under the proposed budget:

AGENCY

PROGRAM

2014 GAA

(in ‘000)

2015 proposed budget (in ‘000)

DOH

Assistance to Indigent Patients

P 3,193,950

P 1,762,349

DOLE

Government Internship Program (GIP) and Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged Workers “TUPAD” Project

1,022,000

611,730

TESDA

Special Training for Employment Program

1,022,000

543,350

DSWD

Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services

4,090,000

3,642,405

CHED and SUCs

Tulong Dunong Program

4,124,200

2,459,287

DPWH

Local Infrastructure Program

7,309,494

18,369,350

 

TOTAL

P 20,761,644

P 27,388,471

Tinio also noted that the amounts of hidden pork per agency decreased by up to 46.83% except DPWH’s, which more than doubled (up by 105.31%).  Each solon’s share in infrastructure projects went up from P25.2 million in the current year to P94.44 million.
The lump sums per solon in all agencies decreased by up to P47%, except in the case of DPWH, which more than doubled from P25.2 million in 2014 to P94.44 million in 2015.  This set-up now makes hard projects have a 2/3 share in a solon’s the total hidden pork.  The old PDAF system allocated P40 million for hard projects out of the P70 million allocation per solon.

LUMP SUM PER SOLON

2014 GAA

2015 GAB

DOH

P 10.5 M

P 6.08 M

DOLE

3.5 M

2.11 M

TESDA

3.5 M

1.87 M

DSWD

14.0 M

12.56 M

CHED & SUCs

14.0 M

8.48 M

DPWH

25.2 M

63.34 M

P 71.6 M

P 94.443 M

The heads of these hidden pork agencies have earlier admitted that they still invite and admit referrals or recommendations of solons as to who will be the beneficiaries of these programs, a practice already declared illegal by the Supreme Court late 2013.  Most notable are the admissions of CHED Chair Patricia Licuanan aired at a closed-door hearing of the House Committee on Appropriations, of DOH Undersecetary Janette Garin at a meeting with solons, and of DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman during their recent budget briefing.
“It is clear that Aquino’s announcement that he has abolished the PDAF is nothing more than posturing,” said ACT Teachers Antonio L. Tinio.  “Not only did he continue PDAF in 2014 despite the Supreme Court ruling banning it–he will bestow pork to legislators in the next year.  Still in secret but with even larger servings.”
Tinio proposed to further itemize lump sums in the budgets of the hidden pork agencies.
“And to make a clear the message that this government is serious in complying with the law and the people’s demand against all forms of pork and political patronage, Congress and Malacanang should enact a budget law explicitly prohibiting formal and informal practices of post-enactment intervention.”
Tinio ended that they will continue to oppose the perpetuation of illegal hidden congressional pork and move for the deletion of these provisions allowing solons to have personal lump sums that preserve the politicization of the delivery of social services.  ###

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