Saturday, August 17, 2013

Churches join calls for pork abolition

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From the Website of CBCP
links: http://www.cbcpnews.com/cbcpnews/?p=20854


Churches join calls for pork abolition

Filed under: Headlines |
MANILA, August 15, 2013— The country’s largest ecumenical group has joined calls for the abolition of the pork barrel allocations for lawmakers. 

In a statement, the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) said that the pork barrel has been art of the patronage politics that has “plagued” the country’s political and electoral system. 

“The NCCP joins the groundswell to scrap the pork barrel system. Let the funds be channeled to education, health, housing and other social services,” part of the statement read. 

“Let us remain focused on the issue of corruption in high places diverted as we are often by other issues,” it said. 

The NCCP made the statement yesterday amid allegations of corruption involving the Priority Development Assistance Fund or pork barrel funds. 

To note, a total of five senators and 23 congressmen have been implicated in the scam for supposedly funding “fake” non-government organizations in implementing ghost projects using their PDAFs. 

PDAF is a lump sum given through the national budget to lawmakers to finance priority development programs and projects of the government. 

The NCCP also supported calls for an investigation into the P10-billion alleged pork barrel scam. 

“The amount involved, the outrageous sense of betrayal felt by the general public and the total insensitivity of those involved to the greater majority of the people boggle the mind,” the NCCP said. 

“The scandal provokes sadness and anger.  Sadness at the plight of the people in the hands of its leaders.  Anger over the way people’s taxes have been misused,” it added. (CBCPNews)


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Focus on generating jobs instead of relocating poor families, bishop says

Filed under: Top Story |
MANILA, August 14, 2013—While recognizing the relocation efforts done by the national government to thousands of informal settlers in the metro, a Catholic bishop urged government leaders to focus more on generating quality jobs that could ensure and sustain the financial stability of the urban poor for a longer period of time. 

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said the problem of urban migration lies with the lack of employment opportunities in rural areas, noting that if relocated families will not be able to secure jobs in their new homes, they will still be forced to go back to the metro in search for better opportunities. 

“Rural families migrate to Manila to find quality jobs that could sustain their day-to-day living. Their problem lies not with housing but with employment opportunities to fend for themselves,” he said in the vernacular. 

“If the relocated families will not be able to find new jobs in areas where they are relocated, they will be forced to leave and go back to establishing shanties in the metro,” he added. 

The government has recently started the relocation of informal settler families dwelling in the metro to nearby provinces. This effort is part of the government’s P351 billion program that aims to address flooding in the country primarily caused by the squatter colonies that has clogged Metro Manila’s major waterways. 
The prelate noted that once people have acquired decent jobs, their desire for decent housing will automatically follow. 

“The government should have known better by providing more jobs for the urban poor because all their efforts would just end up in vain if relocated families would still fail to secure jobs in their new homes,” he said. 

No to privatization 

Pabillo also criticized emerging propositions to privatize hospitals and universities, noting that this move will create a big impact to families who depend on subsidies provided by the government. 

“We have already seen the effects of privatized water and electricity. We could expect the same thing to happen to our universities and hospitals if we will let these calls for privatization to happen,” he said. 

Among the basic effects of privatization is the skyrocketing rate of basic services. 
“We have to leave this system of privatization,” the prelate said, adding that government officials must strive to address the country’s vital issues to obtain inclusive growth across all sectors of the society. (Jennifer M. Orillaza)



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