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Business group calls for abolition of pork barrel 'in all its forms'

September 5, 2013 7:08pm

Business group Chamber of Commerce of the Philippine Islands (CCPI) has called on government to abolish the "pork barrel" in all its forms and names and convict all those linked to the scam of misusing the controversial fund.

"As the oldest business support organization in the country, the Chamber of Commerce of the Philippine Islands...joins the Filipino nation in its call to abolish the 'pork barrel' in all its forms and names, because it is intrinsically wrong, and to convict all those in the scam because it is rightful justice," the CCPI said in an e-mailed statement Thursday.

It noted that the pork barrel, formally called Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), is another "pernicious example" of the country having "a wayward governance—a nation betrayed."

In his letter to CCPI members, president Jose Luis U. Yulo Jr. said "...we look at this as yet another example of how we have strayed from being a leader in Asia next to Japan,  to one among the bottom of the pit...by citing the dysfunctional misgovernance of almost all our government agencies and institutions..."

Among government agencies cited by the CCPI is the legislative where laws passed are seriously deficient in quality and positions are used for individual gain rather than the creation of worthy laws.

It also noted the inequality in salaries as those "absent solons are shamelessly paid even when they do not attend nor contribute any service, while the rest of the people live on 'no work, no pay' basis.

For the executive, the CCPI said laws and the budget implemented are done in ingenious ways to shield rather than prevent corruption and political patronage has become standard practice rather than statesmanship.

The business group also criticized the judiciary, the police, National Bureau of Investigation and the military for using personal connection, power and material exchange in the performance of their duties.

The CCPI called for "a reformed Judiciary and Sandiganbayan, and a new enlightened cleansed Legislative...to continue to lead and help Filipinos to chip away at the stumbling blocks that make us a third-class, poor nation."

Late last month, the Makati Business Club said the business community fully supports the abolition of the PDAF, as well as the subsequent establishment of the new mechanism proposed by President Aquino that will address the needs of various localities and sectors.

It also sought the prosecution and conviction of those found to have been involved in this scandal, whether private individuals or public figures, regardless of political affiliation.

"We fervently hope that with the quick resolution of this scandal, integrity and transparency will become the primary standard in our country," MBC said. Danessa O. Rivera/BM, GMA News
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