Youth on Current Events
Pork Barrel Effects on Politics, Culture, Society and Economy
Overview The Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) also known as the pork barrel (derogatory term) is a portion of the taxes that people pay to the government for them to improve our nation's state. This includes quality education, good healthcare system, and a solid infrastructure network. The PDAF is allocated to members of the House of Representatives who grant it to their choice Non governmental organizations. Each NGO has their own purpose whether it be to improve education, welfare, infrastructure, etc. During the time of President Gloria Arroyo, the PDAF was the biggest source of corruption. The pork barrel scam involves several political leaders giving the funds to "fake" NGOs and expecting a kickback. According to Legal Dictionary, a kickback is the seller's return of part of the purchase price of an item to a buyer or buyer's representative for the purpose of inducing a purchase or improperly influencing future purchases, basically negotiated bribery. This year, an investigation on the Pork barrel involved several members of the House of Representatives and Janet Lim Napoles with an amount of roughly 10 billion Philippine Peso lost. Janet Lim Napoles is accused of operating several fake NGOs including Masaganang Ani Para sa Magsasaka Foundation Inc (MAMFI), Social Development Program for Farmers Development (SDPFFI), and Pangkabuhayan Foundation Inc (Pang-FI) which are suspected to have been involved in some illegal deals with political officials. Janet is currently detained in a police training camp in Sta.Rosa because of the plunder charges for the 10 billion Peso pork barrel scam. She plead not guilty and is awaiting court trial.
Sources: http://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/36665-reville-enrile-estrada-suki-napoles-ngos http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2013/08/17/1100731/pdaf-how-it-works http://opinion.inquirer.net/62327/pork-barrel-investigations http://www.philstar.com/business/2013/09/02/1161001/pork-will-affect-businessconfidence http://correctphilippines.org/pork_barrel/
PORK BARREL EFFECTS
Delivered and/or Not Delivered: The #Philippines Pork Barrel Scam, Anti Pinoy: World Edition, http:// antipinoy.com/delivered-andor-notdelivered-the-philippines-pork-barrelscam/, retrieved on October 11, 2013
Politics After the recent pork barrel scandal, the government had been bombarded with thousands of comments on the social media. Aside from that, there have been many rallies recently protesting against the scandal. Many people have chosen not to believe in the government because of this great scandal that has took place. The Philippine political leaders are becoming less trustworthy.
Environmentalists Join Public Fury vs. Pork Barrel Scam, Eco Waste Coalition, http://ecowastecoalition.blogspot.com/ 2013/08/environmentalists-joinpublic-fury-vs.html, retrieved on October 11, 2013
Culture This scam affects Filipino culture because it contradicts what most Filipinos do. First, we are not greedy and we are supposed to be generous and kind to each other. Second, if the Filipino people continue to vote for people who will cause scandals like this, it makes the country's people look like they don't know how to vote properly since we would always be going against the government.
Society One of the effects of the PDAF scam is the impact it may have on the Philippines’ stability in their society. After the PDAF scam was revealed more thoroughly through the media, the Philippine People were enraged. This led to chaos and uprising all throughout the country(protests, and rallies). The PDAF may also effect other communities who’s Local Government Units only receive a small budget to work with. These communities need the funds coming from the PDAF to support their infrastructure and to provide employment for those who are in need. The PDAF also showed the people the amount of corruption that undergoing in the government. This affected the people’s trust upon the government, which may also affect the Philippines’ economy. Hence, it can be seen from the possible decrease of investments coming from the different investors. There is also another scam that is being overshadowed from the PDAF scam, the Republic Act of 7942. As the rightful Filipino owners of the mineral, we only receive 2 percent of the mined ore’s value. However, with tax and FFTA we would receive almost no financial gain whatsoever. It would take more than 140 years of the PDAF scam happening constantly to be in par with the Republic Act of 7942. The PDAF scam may have affected the Philippines in various ways, and may have affected how the people view their government. However, there are more issues to be concerned in regards to others taking advantage of the Philippines’ well worked resources. We shouldn’t forget about the previous wrongdoings the Philippine government has done to their people.
Economy Pork barrel or what you call PDAF is a given amount of money taken from the tax of the people is given to each of the members of the House of the Representatives and the Senate. It is used to fund projects to improve the area where the members are in charge with. However with the recent pork barrel scam an approximate 10 billion pesos have been stolen. The money was used for the personal needs of some guilty parties. It has also been used for some government families to stay in power. With the money used for these purposes they could have used it to make our country better. They could have used it to improve roads, infrastructure and improving the economy. The political parties involved have wasted the money of the people, thereby worsening the economy of our country.
Source: Philippine Flag, Pinoy Facts and Trivia, https://pinoyfactsandtrivia.wordpress.com/ tag/philippine-flag/, Retrieved on October 11, 2013
First, as Filipinos we should take this whole scandal as a lesson and learn from it. We should now be more aware of the people we vote for so that we will not have any more scandals in the government like this fiasco. Second, the government should learn to out their selfish desires aside because they were voted on by the people to lead them and be the role models for society. Their selfish desires are the reason behind the scandal so removing them would greatly help the country in its rebuilding process. Lastly, we as students and the future of our country should make the most out of our education. It may not seem like it would help our country rebuild, but it will because having a good education would help us make better decisions leading to a bright future for our country and the world. -Gino Estebanlar
A C T I O N
We all do what ever we can to help rebuild our nation as filipinos. We as students of Xavier School can help by making articles that will help encourage people to help this nation like this. Then we can donate some of our money to help support those who are in need. We can also volunteer in relief operation and in helping others during our free time. As you can see, even as students, we can help quite a lot!
Action PLAN by Chase Virtucio The Philippine Government has faced a very damaging political scandal lately, this scam drained away billions of Pesos that should have been used for the welfare of the Filipino people. The Priority Development Assistance scam which provided members of congress millions of Pesos, was allegedly abused by several members of congress. However, I believe that all of us are capable in contributing to correct this system and to rebuild our nation. I believe that we the Filipino people can do something to help stop or abolish the abuses made using the PDAF. We can unite as one as a democratic country to abolish or to make a change to the PDAF, for a democracy is a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people”. This is like a wakeup call to our government because it shows them directly that we are enraged by abuses. One Filipino can increase awareness and show others the abuses and the corruption that is taking place in the Philippine government. A country united will be able to abolish the system if they see so fit. However, such as what happened with King Charles I when his Monarchy was replaced by the English Commonwealth. We should be aware of the negative effects that abolishing the PDAF may also have. This can include the lack of funds given to the 5th and 6th municipalities, and the small government projects that may be stopped as a result. The Government can also help contribute by listening to the call of the people, and investigating on those who are alleged to be abusing the PDAF system. Seeing if those accusations are true, and that if they are still fit to be in office. They can also use the funds they receive for the welfare of the country and not just themselves. Such as the building of schools for education, and repairing roads and bridges for easier access. This can also be seen during the time of Queen Elizabeth I when she gave wealth and fortune to the British Empire after the time of Queen Mary I (Bloody Mary). Expanding the empire and taking control over the East India Company in 1660, therefore giving England success and fortune. Such can be done with our country if we stand united as one with the government instead of just prioritizing ourselves. We can be considered a third world country or to the eyes of others, just a developing country who may reach it’s peak in the future. Even students can help bring justice in this issue, we can simply inform others of what is happening in our country and improve awareness regarding this issue. As Xaverians, we should always be aware of what is currently happening in our country. Therefore informing others as well of what is currently going on, and what we can do as one country, and one people to alleviate this crisis. We can become like others before us a successful independent country.
By: James Yao
The Philippines is currently undergoing several national issue including the pork barrel scam and military conflict in Zamboanga. At present, citizens of the Philippines are losing hope and trust in their government because of many allegations which involve political leaders in the Pork Barrel scam and the havoc in Zamboanga. There are a lot of allegations that certain political leaders were taking kick backs from the PDAF. Many of the people were disgusted by this development and felt it was unfair to the country. Many thought they were greedy and only thinking for themselves and not for the country. Many people felt betrayed and there were a lot of rallies around the country to protest these acts. Our country is slowly sinking. In order to pursue nation building we need to have the following: trust, hope, unity and efficiency.
I am a member of the I Volunteer youth NGO and our group has to come up with ways to promote nation building. According to Wikipedia, nation building is the process of constructing national identity using the power of the state. There are a few things Filipinos can be proud of like Manny Pacquiao, one of the greatest boxers of all time, our wonderful beaches and the very friendly people. However, there are still a lot of things we can do to be proud of this country. This includes improvement in education, healthcare, infrastructure and environment. The poor conditions in these various areas is because of the lack of funding by our government . The lack of funding is mainly due to significant corruption in our government. I believe we can lessen corruption if we follow these steps. We need to have more transparency in government dealings. Transparency is required so that the people can examine and analyze deals made between NGOs and government officials.Transparency will help negate underground, sketchy or illegal deals made between political officials and NGOs. Without transparency, political leaders can get away with stealing the people's money. This is because we are not aware of contracts or deals made between political leaders and NGOs. We should also require biddings For government contracts to ensure less bogus deals. This will help build or strengthen the trust among people and government. Hopefully this could also spark a light bulb amongst political leaders for them to strive to rebuild our nation and for them to reach for the same goal so that there may be unity. Some political leaders are trying to pass the Freedom of Information Act which will promote transparency. By passing this to law, information including contracts will be available for public scrutiny. As students, we can help join our family members and friends in participating in peaceful rallies that promote the right causes. By following these steps, we will be able to attain trust, hope, unity and efficiency as a nation.
I would like to discuss events that happened more than 25 years ago that I believe demonstrates nation building. Ferdinand Marcos was the Philippine president from 1965-1986. President Marcos declared Martial Law on September 22, 1972. Marcos abolished freedom of speech and removed a lot of human rights. During this time, Marcos engaged in many illegal dealings and was rumored to have embezzled US $100 million of the governments funds. Marcos had many enemies but there was one who stood out, Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. Ninoy Aquino established an opposition group against Marcos and his government and shortly after was imprisoned. Ninoy Aquino was in critical medical condition while in prison and was sent to the United States for treatment in 1980. When Ninoy Aquino came back on August 21, 1983 he was assassinated. Although there was no evidence linking Marcos to the assassination, people believe he was behind it. After Ninoy Aquino's assassination, the people had enough they were tired of Marcos in power for more than 20 years and this triggered the EDSA revolution in 1986. Ninoy Aquino and Ferdinand Marcos were two extremely different people. Ninoy Aquino was a democratic leader who was for freedom of speech and wanted to end martial law. Ferdinand Marcos liked absolute power and was a dictatorial leader. People favored Ninoy Aquino for his democratic principles. The Filipino citizens looked up to Ninoy Aquino as a symbol of national unity, hope, and trust. Ingredients that are essential for nation building.
Action As citizens of the Philippine nation all of us can help rebuild our nation. As people of the Philippine republic we can start with the people we elect. If we elect the right people to work in our government there will be less corruption in our country. What people do nowadays is that they elect the people that are the most popular, have connections with the family or being bribed to vote for the person. If we stop voting for the wrong people and started to vote for the politicians that will actually do their job properly then the Philippines will improve. Just like what happened to the time of Gloria’s presidency she was voted for president. When she became the president the Philippines became worse. She used the money collected from tax to use it for her own personal needs. We should also follow the law of our country. By following the law we can keep peace and order in our nation. By doing this we can lessen the number of crimes happening in our country. What people with no work can do is get jobs. If there are more people with jobs then there will be more money collected from the people due to the tax. With more funds means more projects to help improve our country. The people cannot rebuild the nation by themselves so they need the government to lend a hand also. The government should make more projects into improving the nation. They should use the money taken from the taxes to fund these projects. To stop corruption in the government it needs to be done by the government itself. The government can track down where the corrupted officials spent their PDAF on. If the area of the guilty party has no ongoing projects or if the projects are not funded then the PDAF is already used up it is obvious that they have used the money on personal matters. Just like Gloria’s presidency it was investigated however it was too late since it was only investigated after her presidency. In getting taxes from the people the government should not make it too high or too low. When it is too high the people will revolt and if it is too low there will be fewer funds to the government. The government should also be strict on their law and policies. A laidback government will have a disorganized nation. As of right now even we students can help rebuild our nation. We can start with studying and learning the best we can. By studying hard we can boost our nation’s academic standards and lead our country when we grow up. Every one of us has a talent; it can be in academics or sports. If everyone gives their best in improving that talent they can represent their country and even lead their country. As the youth of the nation we can learn from the past mistakes. If we do not repeat the mistakes that have happened then we are one step closer to rebuilding our nation. -Vince Tan