‘Stolen pork equivalent to 80T houses for homeless’

The P10-billion pork barrel or Priority Development Assistance Fund that was reportedly misused by some lawmakers and fake non-government organizations could have been used to solve the country’s problem on homelessness, according to a Gawad Kalinga executive.
Joey Mempin, national president of GK, told fellow Ilonggos during the protest-rally against pork barrel Monday, that “Pwede pa ni ma-convert to 80,000 homes for the homeless.”
“If ang money nabutang kag nagasto sang ensakto, by 2015 tani wala na homeless,” Mempin said.
“I am tax payer. Diutay nga reportorial errors, the BIR asks me to pay a penalty,” he added.
“He (President Aquino) should stop the pork barrel the soonest time possible. Our country is the most religious but it is also the most corrupt. This is the highest form of hypocrisy,” he said.
Meanwhile, environmentalist and civil society leader Nicanor Perlas said that the pork barrel had been a long-time problem. “Subong lang nakita ang dugay ta na gina-suspect.”
He proposed four solutions.
First, “abolish PDAF in all levels.”
“PNoy gave the congressmen the power to allocate funds on certain conditions. It is a fund to influence decision-making. It has no place in democracy,” Perlas said.
“Abolish Pnoy’s special fund, too, because he has strategic control on funds that have no accountability, no transparency and no accounting,” he added.
“If he meets this political challenge, he will come down as the best president in our history. This is his ‘Hacienda Luisita’. His mother Cory failed the test in land reform. Pnoy now has the historical opportunity to redefine how to use that fund,” Perlas said.
Second, prosecute all the officials involved in pork barrel corruption prior to and during Pnoy’s time.
“Pnoy was emphasizing only 2007-2009, but new data in 2010-2012 shows that he also has pork barrel corruption. Some of these involve the Department of Agriculture, NABCOR (National Agribusiness Corporation) and Philippine Forest Corporation. Under his watch, there is corruption,” he said.
He is also concerned that since Pnoy has been found to engage in “double speak”, he will lose his moral authority.
Third, Perlas urged the organizers of the MillionPeopleMarch to be around.
“Do they have the staying power to continue pushing for reforms and ultimately participate in the budgeting process and governance? We need societal governance, not state governance. The structure reform that is being asked here is that in all levels, there should be participation from the authentic civil society. This could be a basis for the creation of a new style of governance that involves the three sectors of society – political, economic and cultural,” he said.
Fourth, Perlas urged netizens to continue speaking out on issues.
“The Arab Spring was social media-mediated. This is the network age. This is the country of young people, of Facebook generation, Twitter generation. They have to be engaged instead of being absorbed with trivia./Marie Katherine Villalon

Civil society leader Nicanor Perlas

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