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National

'DI LANG PANG-KONGRESO | Makabayan bill would scrap president's 'pork', too

InterAksyon.com
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines -- A bill filed by the main leftist bloc in the House of Representatives Wednesday seeks to abolish not only the pork barrel of members of Congress but that of the president as well.

Calling the pork barrel a "massive source of graft and corruption," House Bill 1535 filed by representatives belonging to the Makabayan bloc would prohibit the allocation and use of funds for lawmakers and the chief executive.

(Click here to read the bill)

The measure seeks the abolition not just of the Priority Development Assistance Fund, of which House members gets P70 million each and senators P200 million every year.

Section 3 of the bill would also bar the president from “allocating, releasing, disbursing or realigning any amount from Special Fund 151, including that which is generally referred to as (the) Malampaya Fund" and from the President's Social Fund, which is sourced from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation and other revenue-generating agencies.

Fund 151 is a special account maintained by the Department of Budget and Management in which the government’s share of revenues from the Malampaya natural gas project -- last estimated to be P115.17 billion -- is held.

"Government shall ensure that every cent from the public purse is used towards attaining real and comprehensive development, equitable distribution of income and wealth, and a sustained increase in production of goods and services for the benefot of the people, especially the underprivileged -- and none for patronage and
traditional politics," the bill said.

The bill was filed by Representatives Neri Colmenares and Carlos Zarates of Bayan Muna, Luz Ilagan and Emmi de Jesus of Gabriela, Antonio Tinio of ACT Teachers, Fernando Hicap of Anakpawis, and Terry Ridon of Kabataan.

The bill was filed amid reports of an alleged scam that duped lawmakers into funding billions of pesos worth of bogus projects through non-existent nongovernmental organizations.

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