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Commentary and research on current events and public policy by economists from the University of the Philippines
Monthly archive September 2013

Scrap pork, empower provinces

The untranslatable kahindik-hindik is how the Commission on Audit Chair described it. Indeed only the most cynical can read the 453-page COA special report on the allocation and utilization of pork barrel funds from 2007-2009 and not come away appalled.

Let’s keep our eye on the ball

It bears repeating again and again: Abolishing the Priority Development Assistance Fund and abolishing the pork barrel are not one and the same. The PDAF for 2014 may have been abolished, but the pork barrel is alive and well.

The ‘pork barrel’ and who got their releases in 2012

The nation has been disgusted by the pork barrel scandal for some time now. The pork barrel funds of some legislators appear to have been siphoned off to some fictitious NGOs with high sounding names and into the big pocket of one enterprising scam artist.

Questions about the pork barrel

The following questions come to mind after reading both the CoA Report subtitled “Government-wide Performance Audit” and the almost frenzied spate of reports in the media on the Napoles case. Perhaps the Reader may add some more. But they certainly are crying for answers.

Who’s going to fix the broken budget system?

President Aquino should show his true grit. Is he a true reformist or a traditional politician pretending to be one? His rabid defense of the presidential pork and his tenacious refusal to support the Freedom of Information Act sends an unmistakable signal:

The defense of pork barrel

Shortly after he became Speaker of the House, Prospero Nograles, together with Edcel Lagman, chair of the House Committee on Appropriations, released a coauthored paper titled “Understanding the Pork Barrel.” It should have been called “In Defense of the Pork Barrel,” because that is exactly what they did.