By TYRONE A. VELEZ
DAVAO CITY–Did he really say he is abolishing pork?
President Aquino III’s announcement Friday that “it is time to abolish PDAF” or the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) spurred epicurean invectives from journalists, activists and academe all over social media. They’d rather call it by other edibles.
In his Facebook account, Carlos Conde, former journalist and human rights researcher said “(R)ead carefully what Aquino said: “It is time to abolish PDAF.” He didn’t say, “I hereby order PDAF abolished.”
Danilo Arao, Associate Dean at the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication, said Aquino’s use of words is puzzling.
“If you consult a reliable dictionary, the word “abolish” means “to end the observance or effect of” (http://www.merriam-webster.
Aquino said he would instill mechanisms to check if funds would “be spent with only the public’s benefit in mind” and to create an inter-agency to investigate and prosecute persons misusing the fund.
But SunStar Davao editor-in-chief Stella Estremera said a Congressional fund for projects by any name would mean the same.
“It was once upon a time called countryside development fund, which became countrywide development fund, which became I can no longer recall, and then became PDAF. Sus. wag magpadala sa panloloko ng mga manloloko. Di nila yan aalisin. (Christ, don’t be fooled by these charlatans. They won’t scrap this thing),” she said.
Activists and journalist netizens alike started to come up with names to call the pork barrel system.
Conde said “Henceforth, PDAF shall be known as :
- Selective Enforcement of Budgetary Outlays (SEBO),
- Holistic Lawmaking for Development of All Filipinos (HOLDAF),
- Budget for Allies for Continuation of Party Dominance (BACON-PD),
- Countrywide Assistance for Special and Important Matters (Casim)
- PNoy’s Initiative for Good Governance CountrYwide (Piggy).”
Representative Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna also compiled a “menu” of terms :
- Lawmakers Initiative for Emergency, Miscellaneous and Personal Outlay (LIEMPO),
- Livelihood Empowerment for Countrywide Humanitarian Outlaw Network (LECHON),
- Countrywide Universal Priority Initiatives Treasury (CUPIT),
- Fund National Assistance Program of Lawmakers Engaged in Swindling (NAPOLES),
- Hearty Allocation of Money (HAM),
- BSA’s Awesome Budget for Outstanding Allies of the Year (BABOY),
- Horrifyingly Unlimited Money for Belmonte, Aquino and Allies (HUMBA),
- Pnoy’s Allowance and Treasury Allocation (PATA)
- Social Initiative for Service in Governance (SISIG),
- Outlay for the Interest of Noynoy and Kinsfolks (OINK),
- Presidential Oversight for Relatives and Kin with Budgetary Entitlement from Legislative Largesse Yearly (PORK BELLY).
Jon Joaquin of Mindanao Daily Mirror compiled ‘animal-related’ terms to replace the pork such as Government Outlay Line-itemized and Appropriated Yearly (GOLAY), Fund Integration for Social Housing (FISH) and Bridges, Excavations & Elevated Roads Fund (BEEF).
Joaquin included contributions such as Countrywide Allocations With Accountability and Transparency (CAWAT) by Wilfredo Almendralejo Rodolfo III, Benigno Aquino Development Assistance Fund (BADAF) from Ian Garcia, and Countrywide Outreach and Rehabilitation Assistance Fund (CORAF) from Juland Suazo.
Pediatrician Jack Estuart came up with Ang Kanayunang Organisadong Inisyatiba (AKOIn), Accessing Countryside Investment Fund (ACIn Fund), National Allotment for Countryside Amelioration and Welfare (NACAW).
Whatever the name is, BAYAN Secretary General Renato Reyes said “Pork by any other name, and in the hands of the corrupt, is still pork.”
On August 26, netizens and citizens will take to the streets for the Million People March calling for the abolition of the PDAF. (Tyrone Velez/davaotoday.com)abolish pork, aquino pork, august 26, pdaf, pnoy pork, pork barrel, pork barrel system