Pork barrel scam blamed for House's low ratings

by RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 05 2014 08:39 PM | Updated as of Feb 06 2014 04:39 AM

MANILA - House Minority Leader Ronaldo Zamora on Wednesday attributed the slide in the ratings of the House of Representatives to the pork barrel scam.

"That's not the question of the institutions. It's a question of issues raised and which have not been clearly answered," he said. "What would that be, obviously PDAF ( Priority Development Assistance Fund)."

"After all these years, corruption has not only been institutionalized. It has found its way to different governments documents like the budget," he added.

Zamora said lawmakers need to be transparent about the budget process to show people where their money is being spent.

"We have to show projects and as we have always been saying, let's make not just individual amounts transparent. Let's report regularly on a monthly basis the results of these projects. Show exactly to our people what we're doing to the money entrusted to us. That's the only way you're going to stop the free fall of ratings," he added.

Meanwhile, ACT Teachers' party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio said that aside from the pork barrel scam, the House's low ratings may also be attributed to the House's relationship with Malacanang.

"I do think that the low ratings should be related to public perception that the House of Representatives is a rubber stamp," he said.

"It is unable to take an independent stance particularly with regard to Malacanang. This was most clearly shown in actions of the House with regard to approval of 2014 budget, with presidential pork and the approval of a supplemental budget that the House approved with not even a 1-page proposal from the executive. The House simply gave blanket authority to the executive to do with supplemental budget as it wills," Tinio added.

"Those low ratings also an indictment of the House failing in its constitutional responsibility to act as a check and balance for Malacanang and the executive. The way to gain popularity and approval will be for the House to assert independence vis a vis the executive."