Ping: Pork barrel revived under Duterte admin

The graft-ridden pork barrel has again reared its ugly head in the proposed P3.8-trillion national budget for 2019. According to Sen. Panfilo Lacson, two lawmakers have been allotted more than P1 billion each in extra funding for their pet projects in the national budget for 2019.

SOURCE: Lacson: 2 lawmakers get P1.5 billion in pork each. By: DJ Yap - Reporter / @deejayapINQ Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:30 AM December 05, 2018. Read more: Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

Pork barrel is a metaphor for the appropriation of government spending for localized projects secured solely or primarily to bring money to a representative's district. The usage originated in American English. In election campaigns, the term is used in derogatory fashion to attack opponents. However, scholars use it as a technical term regarding legislative control of local appropriations.

In the Philippines, the term "pork barrel" is used to mean funds allocated to the members of the Philippine House of Representatives and the Philippine Senate to spend as they see fit without going through the normal budgetary process or through the Executive Branch. It can be used for both "hard" projects, such as buildings and roads, and "soft" projects, such as scholarships and medical expenses. The first pork barrel fund was introduced in 1922 with the passage of the first Public Works Act (Act No 3044).
This pork barrel system was technically stopped by President Ferdinand Marcos during his dictatorship by abolishing Congress. It was reintroduced to the system after the restoration of the Congress in 1987. The program has had different names over the years, including the Countryside Development Fund, Congressional Initiative Fund, and currently the Priority Development Assistance Fund. Since 2006, the PDAF was ₱70.0 M for each Representative and ₱200.0 M for each Senator.

On November 19, 2013, the Supreme Court declared the controversial Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), or more commonly known as the pork barrel, as unconstitutional. In a briefing, the high court declared the PDAF Article in 2013 General Approriations Act and all similar provisions on the pork barrel system as illegal because it "allowed legislators to wield, in varying gradiations, non-oversight, post-enactment authority in vital areas of budget executions (thus violating) the principle of separation of powers".


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