Saturday, August 24, 2013

Is Cayetano’s version of ‘pork’ corruption - free?


The rabble rousing Senator Cayetano, a proponent for the abolition of priority development assistant fund (PDAF) or the infamous “Pork Barrel” told us media men that the lump sum system of the PDAF should be changed into line items to prevent corrupt congressmen and senators to raid them.
 ANTI-PORK SENATOR:Senator Peter Cayetano
 (center) talks about the abolition of the pork-barrel
system among senators and congressmen. Cayetano
 is flanked by Pangasinan Governor Amado T. Espino
 (left) and Rep. Leopoldo Bataoil,2nd District,
Pangasinan (right
Line items mean solons identify first what project they want before they are included in the national budget, unlike the lump sum system where they can arbitrarily dictate what projects they want.
 I played “Devil’s Advocate”  to the charismatic senator and asked him the following questions:
 “Is your proposal to abolish the old system of distributing the pork barrel a tall order? 
Baka hindi na ipapasa ng congress ang bill na proposed ng Malacanang because wala na ang  carrot sa PDAF?”
 He said if I asked him two months ago with the same question he would say that the plan to abolish the pork (President Benigno Aquino III “abolished it” last August 23 after a prolonged pressure from the traditional and social media Face Book, Twitter, etc - MCO.) would be next to impossible.
 “So I think the pressure will continue para hindi lang mapalitan ng ibang pork barrel. I don’t think until it is over I still want to see the final budget na pork-free.”
 I asked him if his proposed mode of giving pork to solons would be grease-free, S.O.P-free, or cut-free from the percentage given by private contractors or suppliers to the congressman or senator who intercedes for the projects. 
“Hindi ko kayo masagot ngayon na wala ng problema ang Pilipinas.
Author strikes a pose with the
rabble-rousing Senator Peter Caye-
tano. "You're like Winston Churchill
you got a gift of gab," author told
the senator after the press
conference he called.
To get rid of that is a big victory. But we have a lot to do after that,” he answered. 
Cayetano explained that the government should increase the salaries of public officials who are susceptible to bribery by solons and private contractors. 
“Tandaan niyo po, iyong legislature ay naglalagay hindi mangyayari na walang tao sa departamento maging director, maging clerk na tag-ayos ng mga papeles”. 
He cited the progress from corruption of the Department of Public Works and Highway. He said that S.O.P there has been mitigated because private contractors would not do the work anymore because of the prohibitive cuts being asked by government officials.
 “Masyado na daw mababa ang kikitain nila. So kung ngayon wala ng kaibahan ang pork, binigay ni senator, congressmen, ni presidente pareho na ang nilalagay sa budget masusunod niya ang patakaran nila. It would be more transparent. Let’s watch out ang mga scam artists”.

Corrupt congressman pockets 60% of Pork: Don’t you know that a congressman can earn an S.O.P of up to 60 percent in a multi-million pesos government project? 
He or she can pocket P6 million scarce government monies from a budget of P10 million that has been appropriated to the DPWH. 
Here’s how the con men in government do their stunts in a dredging operation according to a private contractor I met:
 He said that “sounding” is of no value if the implementing office like DPWH, National Irrigation administration, or Department of Agriculture, is run by corrupt government officials.
 “Sounding” is a gauge by using a rod to know how deep the river and lake are from the water bed up to the surface before and after the dredging operation. It means the Commission on Audit (COA) particularly would know the volume of silts that have been taken by the backhoe on a barge or a dredging machine in a certain area of a river or lake.
 “A representative from the COA and field engineers of the department or agency’s concern measure it vertically as a requisite of a pre-audit.” He deplores how these people usually concoct an imagined gauge in a post audit because the same government officials including the private sub-contractors conspired with each other. 
A representative from the COA who is assigned in a notoriously corrupt public work’s office in Region-1 told me that pre-audit of a dredging operation has been stopped a long time ago. 
“Wala na iyang pre-audit. Matagal ng tinangal iyan as far as our office is concerned.”
Susmariosep, without the pre-audit corruption now sizzles at DPWH. What say you my friend Senator Cayetano?
(You can read my selected columns at and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too at

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