Today is National Heroes Day here in the country. It is also the day of protest against PDAF (Priority Development Assistant Fund), also known as pork barrel. Dubbed as a Million People March, people trooped to Luneta park to cry to abolish pork barrel. The protest is fueled by the pork barrel scam, where it was found out that some senators and congressmen have allegedly been squandering their PDAF.
These lawmakers made us believe that they are using the PDAF in legitimate ways only to find out that they are actually donating it to NGOs they themselves own or to fake NGOs. You know of course what this means.
If you were one of those who support this march, I salute you. It is high time that we paid attention to how our public funds were being used.
PDAF in principle is good. After all, the funds were intended to support development projects in the provinces. We should have started being wary about it when we knew that these funds are not subject to audit. Or better yet, when PDAF was started to be called pork barrel, which in technical terms refers to legislative control of local appropriations.
How did PDAF or pork barrel came about? I thought it started with the Marcos regime. But little research told me that it started during Cory Aguino’s leadership. It started out as country development fund (CDF). Read more about its evolution HERE.
Call it apropos that today, National Heroes is also the day of protest. It has become even more relevant because who are considered victims of this Pork Barrel Scam are the modern-day heroes.
Who are the modern-day heroes?
- Folks who work hard to earn a living and apportion a huge part of their earnings to the government through taxation.
- Folks who are helping run the economy by spending.
- Folks who leave homes and families to earn a living overseas and invest/spend their earnings here in the country.
- Folks who work for a real cause, or supporting a legit advocacy.
- Folks who work for the improvement of the lives of the majority without the photo opps and publicity.
- Folks who inspire others to do good.