Sunday, August 25, 2013

Workers ask Luneta marchers: Demand realignment of pork to social services

Press Release
August 25, 2013

The workers group Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) called on the people who will be joining tomorrow’s rally at Luneta to demand the realignment of the pork barrel to a fund for universal social services. The group also praised the organizers of the Luneta march in its determination to push through and demand the abolition of the pork barrel.

“Workers salute Luneta protest organizer Peachy Rallonza-Bretana for refusing to be placated by President Benigno Aquino III’s proposed pork barrel reform. We however ask them to also demand a new fund distribution system wherein social services will not be based on the discretion of politicians but will be accessible as a matter of right,” Renato Magtubo, PM chair explained.

PM is joining the rally in Luneta tomorrow that will call for the abolition of pork barrel and the prosecution of those involved in the scam. The group’s chapters in Cebu, Bacolod, Iloilo and Iligan are also participating in similar activities in the provinces.

The labor group is advocating the realignment of the pork barrel into a fund for universal social protection. “The Priority Development Assistance Fund, the Presidential Social Fund and other incarnations of the pork barrel must be directly allotted to social services that will be accessible to all Filipinos and not be subject to discretion of political patrons. In this way, the evil of patronage and corruption is removed from the delivery of necessary social services such as Philhealth coverage, socialized housing, scholarships, farmers’ subsidies and public employment” explained Magtubo.

He added that “Only the politically naïve will swallow PNoy’s alibi that pork barrel is necessary to deliver social services to the grassroots. The pork barrel is a political not a development tool. On the part of the national government, the pork barrel is a carrot to buy the support of Congress. While on the part of solons, pork barrel is indispensable to sustain the dependency relations with ward leaders and ordinary voters.”

PM asserted that the reforms declared by the President about the congressional pork barrel are not enough. “At best the reforms may curb rampant corruption but PNoy’s insistence in maintaining the pork barrel means he is strengthening it as an instrument of patronage,” Magtubo averred.

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