Labor group slams 'pork barrel' in 2023 budget

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 25 2022 05:54 PM

MANILA -- Partido Manggagawa Secretary General Judy Miranda criticized Friday the huge budget allocated to the Office of the President and the Office of the Vice President under the P5.268 trillion proposed national budget for 2023.

"Tandaan po natin nasa recovery tayo mula sa pandemya. Napakarami pong apektadong nawalan ng trabaho, kabuhayan at ng kalusugan na hindi pa rin sigurado dahil tuluy-tuloy ang COVID," Miranda said.

"Ang nakakatakot ay yung pondo laging nilalagay sa discretion ng pangulo ng Pilipinas at ikalwang pangulo ng Pilipinas na kadalasan ay sinasabi na pang-intelligence... Mahalaga kasi may transparency," she added.

The funds given to aid-related programs remain insufficient, she said.

The ideal situation, Miranda said, is having bulk of the funds directly distributed to government agencies in charge to giving assistance and public service.

Miranda also believes the 2023 national budget is still tainted by "pork barrel."

"Naniniwala kaming may pork barrel pa rin dahil lagi nga naming sinasabi, ang mga pondo na meron ang Kongreso at Senado.. ngayon kasi ang nangyayaribang nga tao, pipila pa rin sa kanilang mga kongresista para lang maka-avail (ng assistance o guaranty letter)," Miranda said.

What's happening today still she said is "patronage politics" that stems from the form of pork barrel.

Social Watch Philippines, an NGO whose advocacy is to eradicate poverty and promote social protection, urged the public to be vigilant as far as the proposed 2023 national budget is concerned.