Manila–“The problem is not ‘pork barrel’ per se,” asserted yesterday by internationally acclaimed movie actor, director, and producer now senatorial candidate Cesar Montano. As TV guest of ANC’s (ABS-CBN News Channel) Forum 2007, Montano said he is for the judicious use of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), more known by its unsavory label– pork barrel.
Montano differentiated between a “good” and “bad” pork barrel. The bad pork barrel is the source of graft and corruption enriching both the politicians and unscrupulous contractors through inutile projects that do not do the people any good. He categorically stated that he is in favor of a good pork barrel. He enumerated several parameters for the priority development fund to be effective. He said that the funds should have clear prioritization, accountability, transparency, effective and efficient system of monitoring, with check and balance.
Montano also said that for PDAF to be effectively utilized, the people should be consulted as what projects they need. In this way, Montano argued that the “people would claim ownership of the project. If they feel they own the project, they would care and defend the project against those whose intention is only to profit and amass wealth.” This, Montano said , “is the essence of his slogan ‘power to the people’”
When asked what are his priority projects if elected, Montano bared that these would revolve around his C.E.S.A.R.. agenda—Culture, Children, Education, Environment, Social Justice, Social Services, Agriculture, Agrarian Reform, Rights, and Rural Infrastructure. These he said would alleviate poverty and bring jobs and justice, food and freedom to the majority of the Filipino people.
Reference: Arnel F. de Guzman, Media Officer