President Benigno Aquino
MANILA (Mindanao Examiner / Aug. 15, 2013) - A Filipino lawmaker has called on President Benigno Aquino to relinquish his 'pork barrel' in the Malampaya Funds and channel the fund to providing pension to village officials and other important projects that will benefit the poor.
Rep. Neri Colmenares said the Malampaya Fund is a much abused presidential pork barrel because its disposition merely rests on Aquino's discretion.
"If it is not used in corrupt projects or given as a dole out to presidential allies, it is misplaced in unnecessary pet projects of the president," he said in a statement sent to the Mindanao Examiner.
He said the fund was used in non-energy related road projects in districts of presidential allies and nearly P2 Billion was spent by the police on irregular contracts during the last administration.
"Now we find out that P900 million from this fund was again lost on ghost projects. Ginagawang gatasan ang bilyung-bilyung piso ng Malampaya habang ang taong bayan ay halos hindi na makakain tatlong beses sa isang araw. President Aquino must let go of this graft ridden presidential pork barrel," Colmenares said.
"It is about time that the Malampaya fund be saved from marauding politicians and put in an item which could not be reached by the corrupt and the greedy. This is the reason why we refiled House Bill 180 or the Barangay Pension Fund Bill last month mandating the use of the Malampaya fund to fund pension benefits for all barangay officials namely Barangay Chairman, Kagawads, the Secretary and the Treasurer."
"The bill provides for a lump sum pension of about P50,000 for every year of service to barangay officials who retired from government service," he said.