But previously, I wasn't sure about my stand. I had to understand the pork barrel process first, in its 'pure' beneficial form. A kind raider and twitter-friend forwarded this article from the PCIJ. It was exactly what I was looking for.
Reading through it, you would see how the legislative pork barrel "funds" are supposed to be used to benefit legislator's constituents. But because of the many various steps projects go through, the process itself is wired to be easily 'gamed' for personal gain.
Hearing some of the arguments for retention, it was also clear that the pork barrel has benefited many Filipinos. Some of them were used correctly. Students got to finish school. Some patients got some access to healthcare. Some needed roads and school buildings were built. But it seems to pale in comparison to what could have been, had there been no misuse of funds.
I was hesitating to just call for the abolition of pork barrel, knowing about the benefits it has given in the past.
However, on one Sunday came my enlightenment. Wasn't it Jesus who said previously that if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off. Better to go through life with only one left hand than to have your whole body thrown into hell. That became my answer. Surely that right hand has many uses, many benefits. Yet if that right hand causes one to sin, just cut it off.
The pork barrel has benefited. But it has been woefully abused. Hence, it must be abolished. Change the damn system.
I started to even wonder. Why the hell do legislators have access to funds to "build and sponsor"? That's not in their job description. They were elected into office to write legislation, to represent their constituents and not to build highways or sponsor scholars. That's the role of the executive branch.
My only misgiving now, though, is that removing these funds from the legistlators' hands would just put them in the hands of local government executives. And they are not saints either. But perhaps, control systems could be strengthened more easily. Since the systems would be monitoring just one branch of government, and not two.
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Location:32nd Street,Makati City,Philippines