By Mortz C. Ortigoza
I told on my radio program that some members of the House of Representatives “bullied” Department of Social Welfare & Development Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, a member of the leftist organization.
Congressmen like Rudy Farinas, Bicol Party-list Rep. Alfredo Garbin, and Negros Oriental Congressman Arnie Teves lectured her that the solons have the power of the purse to appropriate funds to government departments like DSWD.
That power, according to them, allows them to identify their poor recipient-constituents.
|The proverbial hog cum pork barrel that still exist |
until now in the Philippines. Photo Credit:Spot.Ph
Taguiwalo, a straight shooter who despised how those solons want to have their way on public funds, told them the DSWD Memorandum Circular 9 she signed does not intend to bar congressmen from endorsing beneficiaries.
The Secretary maintained, however, that the Circular seeks to stop the practice of congressmen getting favored projects in the DSWD after she received information that there was an allocation of projects for lawmakers even after the Supreme Court scrapped the pork barrel.
“Ang point lang namin, ang DSWD ay willing makipagtulungan sa mga representative. Pero hindi po puwedeng parang may entitlement na may milyon kayo,” she told them.
The issue here, son of a gun, is simple:
Congressmen, several of them graduated with Bachelors of Laws at Ateneo de Manila and the University of the Philippines, had stooped too low by asserting themselves to identify tens of millions of projects because they want to get the 20 percent S.O.P (slang for cut) from their favorite private contractors.
This malpractice has been there since time immemorial. This practice persisted because of quid pro quo between Malacanang and Congress where Senators and Congressmen expedite the passing of the bill the President wants in exchange of the “pork barrel” where the solon can get their cut.
EXAMPLE of this malady:
A big time private contractor with the government told me how he and public officials earn in a, say, ten million pesos farm-to-market road in a town.
“15 percent lang ang tubo ko diyan. 15 percent bigay ko sa congressman, 5 percent sa DPWH (Department of Public Works & Highway) for the boys nila to divide, and 10 percent kay mayor,” he enumerated.
He cited that before he wins the bidding for the project at the DPWH, he first get the nod of the other two bidders (required by law) who would quote the first two highest bid to make the project so they would lose while my source, who bids the lowest ten million project wins.
“I will give them P300 thousand to divide among them or to those other bidders who are interested to the project”.
When I asked him how much he shell-out to the village chief that host the farm-to-market road, he told me he gives the “kapitan” P5000 as token of appreciation in signing the document to attest the program of works in his barangay had already been done by his construction firm.
“Pag maganda ang mood ko at humirit ang kapitan na bigyan din iyong mga kagawad (members of the village’s legislative council), binibigyan ko sila ng P10 thousand”.
To quantify how government funds are pocketed, the narrations say: More than 45 percent goes to those people I mentioned, while the Republic of the Philippines settle for the more than 50 percent or more than P5 million of the P10 million farm-to-market road from the taxpayers’ monies.
This scenario of how the public monies, be it P10 million or 100 million are divided is endemic all over the Philippines.
HERE is another felony that involves fleecing of government funds:
Another private contractor bidding for government projects explained to me how transaction with the government departments ensued.
“Sir, not all the time we were awarded by the government like the Departments of Public Works & Highway, Agriculture, Agrarian Reform, Health, National Irrigation Administration, or others.
He said a congressman or senator would give; say a P10 million farm-to-market road to a supporter or friend who has zero knowledge about construction.
“What we in the construction business would do is to buy-out to that friend the hypothetical P10 million projects,” he continued.
“Magkano naman ang buy-out (how much you’re going to pay to the friend of the congressman, senator, or those in the heads of government offices?)
“Five percent po ng P10 million or P500,000,” he told me.
“Kaya mo rin kumita ng 20 percent sa P10 million project just like the congressman?” I posed.
“Ay hindi po sir, mga eight percent lang sa akin,” he cut me.
I told him that P800, 000 is already hefty since a congressman and mayor who get 20 percent and 5 percent, respectively, have to share that amount to indigents, supporters, media men, and other who need monies and at the same time buttress their victory chances in their reelection or their kin’s election.
“At least sa iyo na iyong P800,000 at wala ng pumupunta sa iyo just like those people who go and ask monies from politicians, “ I told him.
(You can read my selected columns at http://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too at firstname.lastname@example.org)