By MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA, MPA
Are members of the 16th Congress still illegal recipients of the 10, 20 or more percent cut (S.O.P in the vernacular) from every project they interceded for in Malacanang?
In the March 6 page 2 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer “ Pork” still working for lawmakers” Leila B. Salaverria wrote: “The PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund) was then realigned to six executive agencies – the Commission on Higher Education (P2.66 billion); Department of Education (P1.022 billion); Department of Health (P3.69 billion); Department of Social Welfare & Development of Social Welfare & Development (P4.71 billion); Department of Labor & Employment (P3.69 billion); and Department of Public Works and Highways (P9.654 billion)”.
Does it mean if a subservient congressional ally of Malacanang can chalk up P10 million from one of this government entities through the imprimatur of the power-that-be, it is still monkey business as usual between the solon and his favorite private contractor?
As you know, one of the motivations for politicians in running for congressional office is the S.O.P they can get from the private contractor or supplier that implements a government project they scored. Before the evil Janet Napoles brought them to hell, the greediest of them I know in Region 1 pocketed up to 60% of a project allocated in a dredging operation of a river. This anomaly ensued through a conspiracy with the private contractor, members of the DPWH and Commission on Audit, and the lawmaker. Only 40% or P4 million goes to the haphazardly made operation while the P6 million of the P10 million projects have been divided by these vultures where the Lion share goes to the heartless solon.
With Malacanang needing the votes of members of Congress for important bills, it can marshal these vulnerable solons by ordering the heads of these departments and agencies to implement some of the billions of pesos of projects at their disposal to the district or constituency of the ally congressman or senator.