A thunderous call for the complete scrapping of ‘pork barrel system’ in the Philippines continues. This time, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) issued a manifesto, calling President Aquino to abolish the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or better known as pork barrel. (Pork barrel is the appropriation of government spending for localized projects secured solely or primarily to bring money to a representative’s district.)
In a manifesto circulated on social media by a group called Filipino Migrant Workers yesterday, the group expressed grave frustration over the government’s failure to protect and properly disburse billions of pesos of taxpayers’ money. Last week, a huge rally calling for government’s abolition of the so-called pork barrel was held in Manila and cities around the Philippines. Filipino workers overseas were advised to cooperate by not sending money back to Manila. Similar protest is set in Manila on Sept 11, and organizers said they are not leaving the infamous EDSA (main highway in Manila) until President Aquino completely abolished the pork barrel.
The pork barrel scam came to light when a whistleblower trumpeted knowledge on how the senators and congressmen are using their pork barrel. The whistleblower said some lawmakers are pocketing the money through fake NGOs (Non- Governmental Organizations). In addition, the Commission on Audit (COA) in Manila also admitted the rampant misuse of funds allocated to honorable senators and congressmen.