Manong Johnny and Gigi
By Marites Dañguilan Vitug
The heart of the issue over the big, nasty fight in the Senate is about accountability in the use of public funds. Underneath the painful, though admittedly, entertaining exchanges and theatrics is the fact that the senators easily get away with millions in “maintenance and other operating expenses” or MOOE.
Economist Winnie Monsod explains it well here. “…when liquidating these expenses, the legislators do not need to produce receipts or other documentary evidence to justify them. All that is needed is a ‘certification,’ signed by them, that they had spent the money on MOOE items.” This is allowed because the senators and congressmen inserted this provision in a law.