Duterte’s Charter Change proposals enshrine pork barrel in new Constitution

News Philippines Feb 9, 2018 at 4:24 pm

pork_seaman_edgardo_tuangtuang_2By MARYA SALAMAT

MANILA – The Duterte administration’s drive to amend the 1987 Constitution outdoes the previous failed attempts in one more thing. Aside from the usual extension of the terms of incumbents, allowing 100 percent foreign ownership of Philippine resources and businesses, and removal of provisions that guarantee human rights and civil liberties, it is seeking to add the pork barrel system into the basic law of the land. According to Bayan Muna Chairman Neri Colmenares, page 1 of the Draft Constitution of Sub Committee No. 1 of the House of Representatives Committee on Constitutional Amendment, provides that:

“Each district shall be entitled to an annual share in the state and federal budgets for its infrastructure, as well as for the medical, educational and social services of its inhabitants. Each member of the Senate and of the party list shall likewise be entitled to an amount not less than the allocation for a district from the state and federal budgets for their constituents within the region or nationwide.”

The said “amount” of money for each Senator, party list Congressman, or district Congressman is, in reality, pork barrel funds, the same allotment that public outcries before had prompted the Supreme Court to declare pork as unconstitutional. At that time, it went under the name of Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). After the Supreme Court ban of PDAF, but not of the pork-greased workings of the patronage system, Colmenares said Malacañang and Congress have had to hide pork in the budgets of executive departments.

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