|Janet Lim Napoles aka Pork Barrel Queen|
According to Wikipedia, Pork barrel is the appropriation of government spending for localized projects secured solely or primarily to bring money to a representative's district.
In the Philippines, Pork Barrel means PDAF or Priority Development Assistance Fund: a lump-sum appropriation in the annual General Appropriations Act to fund the priority development programs and projects of the government. Pork Barrel funds came from the portion of our national budget and the legislators such as congressmen and senators use it in their chosen projects.
Pork barrel can be use by congressional allocations, financial subsidies to local government units, and for infrastructure projects identified by Congress. Projects such as Education, Health, Livelihood, Infrastructure and Agriculture are usually benefited by these funds. Of course since it is huge money and can easily be manipulated by these legislators, these funds are often end up in ghost projects taking home the funds by themselves.
Each congressman will have an allocation of P70 million from pork barrel funds each year while each senator gets P200 million per year.
Until recently a whistle blower revealed how Janet Lim Napoles uses the Pork Barrel for her ghost NGO’s with the conspiracy from the unnamed Senators and congressmen. A portion of the fund will go to the pocket of Napoles and the remaining will go to the official that has a go signal of the funds.
The scary part of these Napoles scam is none of our legislators want to investigate this corruption since it will also all boil to them.
The question is how many Napoles were there who sucks our fund like a vampire? Is it really time to abolish the “Pork Barrel”?
To date, many Filipinos believe that Napoles had been protected by the officials since they can also manipulate laws. Many citizens also are waiting on how far these investigation will go while there is a left and right diversionary tactics going on to forget or mislead the pork barrel scam issue.