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July 17, 2013 by bm_admin
Legislation Type: 
Republic of the Philippines
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Batasan Hills, Quezon City
 
SIXTEENTH CONGRESS
First Regular Session
 
House Bill No. 1535
 
Introduced by
BAYAN MUNA Representative Neri J. Colmenares, ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio L. Tinio, GABRIELA Women’s Party Representative Luz Ilagan and Representative Emmi de Jesus, ANAKPAWIS Representative Fernando Hicap, KABATAAN Representative Terry Ridon, and BAYAN MUNA Representative Carlos Isagani Zarate
 
 
AN ACT
ABOLISHING THE “PORK BARREL” SYSTEM
BY PROHIBITING THE ALLOCATION
AND USE OF FUNDS FOR SUCH PURPOSE
 
 
EXPLANATORY NOTE
 
Once again, corruption involving the so-called “pork barrel” is in the news. The alleged channeling of legislators’ Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and other lump sum funds of government by the JLN Corporation to bogus NGOs for ghost projects amounting to a mind-boggling P10 billion could very well prove to be one of the biggest corruption rackets in our nation’s history.
 
Whistleblowers have linked 28 legislators, including five Senators and 23 House Representatives, to the pork barrel scam, which allegedly took place over a period of 10 years, funnelling billions through dummy non-government organizations (NGOs) and into the pockets of politicians and private individuals.
 
Pork barrel funds have long been recognized as a massive source of graft and corruption. Kickbacks (the so-called “S.O.P”) are seen as the cost of doing politics as usual.  It is the pork barrel system that enables the patronage politics pervading all levels of government, from the barangays to Malacañang.  The Aquino administration has proven itself to be no less adept than its predecessor at making use of PDAF and other lump sum funds as a tool for imposing its will on Congress, reducing its role to a mere rubberstamp on many issues.
 
Severe limitations in validation and auditing, as well as the scope and number of projects involved, have always prevented a thorough and nationwide check of the use of legislative and Presidential pork barrel funds. Proof of this is the current scam, which allegedly took place over a ten year period, right under the noses of agencies tasked with ensuring checks and safeguards.
 
In short, the pork barrel system is a form of institutionalized patronage and officially tolerated graft and corruption.  Contrary to claims by other legislators that more and better safeguards can be implemented to prevent abuse, the current scam proves that the pork barrel system is beyond salvaging and should be abolished. 
 
We have consistently stood for the abolition of PDAF and the whole pork barrel system, even as we recognized that, up to this point, such a position would make little headway in Congress. However, we are confident that the righteous public outrage generated by the sheer magnitude of the plunder allegedly perpetrated through this P10 billion pork barrel scam will provide the momentum needed to move this issue forward.
 
This bill aims to abolish the pork barrel system by prohibiting the President from providing a budgetary item or including in the proposed budget submitted to Congress every fiscal year any lump sum allocations to the PDAF and similar lump sum, discretionary funds. Aside from the legislators’ pork barrel, the bill shall also abolish the President’s pork barrel funds, such as the President’s Social Fund and the Malampaya Fund.
 
Approval of this bill is earnestly sought.
 
 
NERI J. COLMENARES
BAYAN MUNA Party-List Representative
 
ANTONIO L. TINIO
ACT TEACHERS Party-List Representative
 
LUZ ILAGAN
GABRIELA Women’s Party Representative
 
EMMI DE JESUS
GABRIELA Women’s Party Representative
 
FERNANDO HICAP
ANAKPAWIS Party-List Representative
 
TERRY RIDON
KABATAAN Party-List Representative
 
CARLOS ISAGANI ZARATE
BAYAN MUNA Party-List Representative
 
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Republic of the Philippines
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Batasan Hills, Quezon City
 
SIXTEENTH CONGRESS
First Regular Session
 
House Bill No. 1535
 
Introduced by
BAYAN MUNA Representative Neri J. Colmenares, ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio L. Tinio, GABRIELA Women’s Party Representative Luz Ilagan and Representative Emmi de Jesus, ANAKPAWIS Representative Fernando Hicap, KABATAAN Party-List Representative Terry Ridon, and BAYAN MUNA Representative Carlos Isagani Zarate
 
 
AN ACT
ABOLISHING THE “PORK BARREL” SYSTEM
BY PROHIBITING THE ALLOCATION
AND USE OF FUNDS FOR SUCH PURPOSE
 
 
Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:
 
SECTION 1.  Reiteration of State Policies.  Public office being a public trust, the State shall maintain, in all levels of government, honesty and integrity especially with regard to public funds, and shall take positive and effective measures against graft and corruption.  Government shall ensure that every cent from the public purse is used towards attaining real and comprehensive development, equitable distribution of income and wealth, and a sustained increase in production of goods and services for the benefit of the people, especially the underprivileged—and none for patronage and traditional politics.
 
SECTION 2.  Abolition of the legislative “pork barrel” funds by prohibiting the allocation of funds for the same.  For the Fiscal Year 2014 and the fiscal years thereafter, the Office of the President is hereby prohibited from providing a budgetary item or including in the National Expenditure Program and its accompanying books lump sum allocations to a budgetary item called “The Priority Development Assistance Fund,” or any other budgetary item otherwise named differently but allocating for members of the House of Representatives and the Senate, an amount for “soft programs and projects”  and “infrastructure projects” to be identified by the legislators.
 
SECTION 3.  Abolition of the Presidential “pork barrel” funds by prohibiting the use by the President of fees, revenues and receipts from the exploration, development and exploitation of energy resources and funds from revenue-generating agencies called “President’s Social Fund.”  The President is prohibited from allocating, releasing, disbursing or realigning any amount from Special Account in the General Fund 151 including that which is generally referred to as the “Malampaya Fund,” or any other special fund named differently but consisting of the fees, revenues and receipts from the exploration, development, and exploitation of energy.   The provisions under Section 8, Par. 2 of or any other provision in Presidential Decree 910 inconsistent with this Act is hereby expressly repealed. 
 
The President is prohibited from allocating, releasing, disbursing or realigning receipts sourced from PAGCOR, the PCSO or other revenue generating agencies generally referred to as the President’s Social Fund or any other fund, otherwise named differently but consisting of receipts from PAGCOR, PCSO and other revenue generating agencies.
 
The funds referred to in this Section shall form part of the General Fund, the use of which shall only be allowed if provided under the General Appropriations Act approved by Congress.
 
SECTION 4. Repealing Clause.  All laws, including the pertinent provisions in the charters of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), and the Energy Development Board (EDB), and decrees, resolutions, orders, or ordinances or parts thereof inconsistent with this Act are hereby repealed, amended or modified accordingly.
 
SECTION 5.  Effectivity.  This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in two newspaper of general circulation.
 
Approved.
 

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