Congress Watch: It’s Your Money, Folks

Of course we all know that some people want to become Congressman/Congresswoman because they want to serve their constituents. And, of course, we also know that public service is not its own reward because congressional representatives have this thing called pork barrel (or Priority Development Assistance Fund) which they are allowed to disburse according to their heart’s content.

In Tagalog, bahala sila kung ano ang kanilang gagawin sa pera. We should bear in mind though that a Congressman’s or Congresswoman’s pork barrel is not really his/her own money but our money. So there should be no reason for us to be indebted to our congressional representatives mainly because they brought a project to our area. It’s not as if they used their own personal funds. Right?

So the next time your Representative tries to make you feel guilty for not voting for her/him despite the projects s/he built in your town or barangay, say something like “Duh, pera naman ng bayan yon ah.”

Anyway, just how much do our congressional Representatives receive as pork barrel? Here’s the data from the Department of Budget and Management:

2003 Allocation
Luis Bersamin:
P20m PDAF + P50m DPWH = P70 million

Elias Bulut Jr:
P20m PDAF + P50m DPWH = P70 million

Solomon Chungalao:
P20m PDAF + P50m DPWH = P70 million

Samuel Dangwa:
P20m PDAF + P50m DPWH = P70 million

Mauricio Domogan:
P20m PDAF + P50m DPWH = P70 million

Roy Pilando:
P20m PDAF + P50m DPWH = P70 million

Laurence Wacnang:
P20m PDAF + P50m DPWH = P70 million

2004 Allocation
Luis Bersamin:
P20m PDAF + P50m DPWH = P70 million

Elias Bulut Jr:
P20m PDAF + P50m DPWH = P70 million

Solomon Chungalao:
P20m PDAF + P50m DPWH = P70 million

Samuel Dangwa:
P20m PDAF + P50m DPWH = P70 million

Mauricio Domogan:
P20m PDAF + P50m DPWH = P70 million

Roy Pilando/Victor Dominguez:
P20m PDAF + P50m DPWH = P70 million

Laurence Wacnang:
P20m PDAF + P50m DPWH = P70 million

2005 Allocation
Luis Bersamin:
P20m PDAF + P2.3 m DPWH = P22.3 million

Elias Bulut Jr:
P20m PDAF + P20m DPWH = P40 million

Solomon Chungalao:
P20m PDAF + P20m DPWH = P40 million

Samuel Dangwa:
P20m PDAF + P20m DPWH = P40 million

Mauricio Domogan:
P20m PDAF + P20m DPWH = P40 million

Victor Dominguez:
P20m PDAF + P20m DPWH = P40 million

Laurence Wacnang:
P20m PDAF + P20m DPWH = P40 million

Note: PDAF refers to the Priority Development Assistance Fund while DPWH refers to public work projects under the Department of Public Works and Highways which a congressional representative is allowed to specify/dictate.

SOMEWHAT RELATED POST: Hey Look, Your Congressman is Working; Your Congressmen: Who’s The Richest of Them All?. INFO SOURCE: DBM. IMAGE CREDIT: SullivanCounty.

26 thoughts on “Congress Watch: It’s Your Money, Folks”

  1. ` Duh pera naman ng bayan yon ah.” if only everyone from Mt. Province would say that… REPRESENTATIVE nga eh.. they are the servant.. You are the master..why feel guilty for not voting despite the projects they brought?? its their responsibility.. they are being PAID for that.. Personal Fund??? saan nanggagaling ang personal fund nila??? wish.. not just contented w/ their projects.. maghanap nh iba, magdemand kung kailangan.. Visibility of every sentavo of the pork barrel is very much significant.. wish…. everyone is a WATCHDOG.. it`s your money, FOLKs.. sabi nga..

  2. I voted for Joker Arroyo. That decision had everything with pork barrel aside from the fact that he served well as a human rights lawyer. It was such a big turn-off that he joined the administration. However, while I was inside the polling place, I was reminding myself that the man had not been getting pork barrel funds. He believes that a legislator’s job is to craft laws, not to meddle in the implementation of projects which is the domain of the executive branch. Tama naman siya. May tinatawag tayong separation of powers.

    Matagal nang debate ang pork barrel na iyan.

  3. yeah, i agree with you mng chyt. joker had not been getting his pork share (just like lacson) knowing that this man has no staff in the senate. he work in his own. paano kaya kung naging G.O. sya? hehe!

  4. Bote nalang natalo si Prospero Pichay. Otherwise, he needs to steal 200M pesoses to recoup his campaign investment….nakabili na sana sya ng maraming kangkungan…..

    Pichay – Mukhang gagu. Etanem sa Sinadu

  5. Anonymous (ang ganda ng name mo!), pag naging G.O. si Joker, mas marami sana siyang votes na nakuha. I know people who were really disillusioned when he jumped ship.

    Look at the roll of winners: they are either from GO, independents and TU candidates who take independent positions. Sikat ang openly anti-GMA like my classmate Chiz. I did not vote for Lacson because of his blood debts.

    Nash, I got a text message that Pichay died. Reason: nakalimutang diligan. Pero, tingin ko nadehydrate dahil sa paggastos ng P200M. 🙂

  6. Ew, Chiz was your classmate??? Weren’t you annoyed by his accent, given that he likes to talk a lot? 😀

    I didn’t vote for Chiz. Correct me if I’m wrong but he is like Mike Defensor to me. Very sleazy….

  7. Nash, Chiz wasn’t that “talkative” then. I did not see a sleazy side. Although he always had the gift of gab, I am amazed that he now speaks very fluent Tagalog. I didn’t know it then, probably because in UP Law as in law schools everywhere, English was (and still is) the language mostly spoken.

    Chiz has to speak out a lot these days. Some people have to articulate the public’s concerns. Isn’t he doing a great job expressing exactly what we want to say? Believe you me, the guy’s intentions are sincere. (I must admit though that during the Erap heydays, I was a bit mad at him).

    Mike Defensor? His metamorphosis is astounding. He was then a dedicated activist and was the guy who did not have to try hard to be elected to the UP Student Council. Now, I could not vote for him. Probably, the braces are a factor, too. 🙂

  8. Hi Layad,
    Thanks. Honestly, I don’t know what’s happening at MP kung bakit everyone appears to have no balls. Tinakot lang sila ng konti (or kinonsensiya ng konti) eh boto na sila sa non performing official diyan. I guess we get the officials we deserve. Thanks again.

    Hi Chyt,
    Tinapon ko na si Joker hehe. Eh paano ba naman naging alipores ni Gloria. Altho in fairness talaga he still has his good records to stand on.

    Si Ping is really unforgivable in my book. Too bad that a lot of people would vote for him mainly because he is anti-Gloria. Nakakatakot in case he runs for higher office in the future.

    Hi Anon,
    If naging G.O. si Joker he would be in my number one list 🙂 Thanks.

    Hi Nashman and Chyt,
    Between Escudero and Defensor, I would go for Escudero. Defensor is becoming like Miriam hehe. Hopefully we’ve seen the end of him and that he won’t get resurrected in the future. Thanks.

  9. Mauricio, Victor and others won’t aim for congress if the “pork” is uprooted. Hypothetically, if no pork barrel for solons, it won’t surprise me one iota, if Burnham Park is secretly sold for milliones!!!Chiz is cheesy. Behind that regular-shirt-wearing boyish looks of his is nothing but corruption. Saw him on TV once telling the reporter inside his richly decorated house, gift ni Erap yan, galing ke Erap yan, etc. Being a recipient of such huge favors from one big-time corrupt breeds moral unsoundness. My hope though is someday, I would reflect and say “damn! I was wrong about Cheesy”. Wish I can say that about our re-elected solon, but, hmmm..that Burnham Park can be tempting!!
    I live with the knowledge that when others think of honesty, compassion, and integrity, they will surely think of me, that would be my platform should I run for elective office someday (in my dreams lang). I’m guaranteed to get flowers also and not a spit on my grave someday. Cheers to all!!

  10. Sige, pagbigyan natin si Chiz. If he screws up we can recall him like ex-Mayor Yaranon (who, may I add is NOT corrupt, just not cut out to be mayor.)

    Oo si Mike D., apparently he was legendary during his days at UP for progessive views. Ngayon, saksakan naman sya ng kagaguhan. Hmmm, could her aunt Miriam have something to do with it or vice versa. Dati Miriam was against Gloria but now they are textmates. Who led who into the dark side.

    Anyways, I’m so disappointed that more than 50,000 voted for Defensor in Benguet given that when he was in DENR he encouraged the arrival of Chinese vegetables that weren’t tested or quarantined. Ah basta, Mike D. is evil evil evil evil.

    Chiz has 90 days….

  11. Nash, Chiz will know you are giving him 90 days.

    Bill, allow me to print here a text message I got from Chiz at about 5PM: “Am on my way to the PICC for the proclamation. Sa muli maraming, maraming salamat sa mga taga-Baguio at mga taga-Cordillera sa tiwala nila.” Ayan, pinaabot ko na.

    Thanks, Nash for at least giving Chiz the benefit of the doubt. In the remote probability that he will not perform, we will forget him during the next election.

  12. Trublu, like you, I always frowned on the political entanglement of Chiz and Erap Estrada. However, this entanglement doesn’t mean that Chiz cannot be a good leader of the nation. How we wish we could have leaders who are perfect. But no one is and we just have to settle for the good ones among the imperfect. I would say Chiz is one of the best among the imperfect.

    Because I know him, I can say he is not corrupt. Having been associated with Erap does not necessarily mean he is also corrupt. If his house is richly decorated, it is because he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. But really, the guy is simple. Did you know that he married a poor woman? Wala siyang “alta sociedad” na ere.

    Let us give him a chance. However, let us remain vigilant. If Chiz deviates from the right path, let us call his attention and punish him in the next elections.

  13. true nash! im wondering why benguet people gave that huge vote to defensor! i don’t think defensor is needed in the senate. he is much needed in first quadrant, JC spice, JC martin, etc….
    i just can’t forget him trying to stop the coverage of ANC in the marine standoff. (now i will barrow the words of carantes) What a shame! instead that he is accountable to let the people know whats happening in our country but why will he hide in public? just like what joey lina did in oakwood incident! ( nagbidaan ketdin ni trillanes sunga nangabak) hehe!

  14. Hi Trublue,
    Thanks 🙂 Let’s make your dreams a reality. We really need good people in public service. Our mascots Bondo and Bonda will be your guide and guard at the same time to ensure that you will still get flowers.

    I’m with you in hoping that our officials will prove us wrong. Thanks again.

    Hi Nashman,
    Thanks, I didn’t notice that Mike got 50k votes pala in Benguet. Well, the good thing about his clinging to GMA and becoming GMA’s attack dog is that we will never see him as President ever.

    Hi Chyt,
    Thanks for printing that text message. I really didn’t like his being an Erap boy but I admire his leadership of the House minority. As you said, its also up to us to be vigilant if he deviates from the right path and to punish or reward him accordingly in the next polls/ Thanks again 🙂

    Hi Anonymous (8:51 pm)
    If I were JC Martin and the other companies, I would not even associate with him hehe. He is as smelly as an orc or an urukhai. Thanks 🙂

    Hi Anonymous (12:27)
    Thanks for that interesting link. I do think that pork barrel funds can do some good. Unfortunately in RP, lawmakers are most likely to spend their pork on projects that would be visible (infrastructure) rather than on creative educational efforts like the one mentioned in the article. But we can always hope. Who knows baka Domogan would be responsive to an idea like this. Thanks again.

  15. On your comment to my earlier sharing (Center for Excellence in Hawaii Laws)…

    US pork barrel goes to so many capital improvement projects just like the Philippines. The difference- level of money, ties to corruption and personal use.

    The amounts of earmark are way higher in the US. However, uses are certainly legitimate or legitimized (although not always smart). Because of laws and its people, corruption and kickbacks like those in the Philippines cannot be or are not a way of life among most who serve in the US Congress.

    As far as the Philippines, I believe that Igorots as a people have the history and tradition to resist that which is not thought to be good for the ili.

    While some current leaders may have totally, totally lost their Igorotness in this sense, some may have just lost their way as we do in our personal lives when we are tranported to new places or planes.

    The Cordillera as a region and as a people though is still in the better/ best position to take on the leadership role of changing the modus operandi in the Philippines.

    Why do I believe that, our ancestors by their individual and collective action give us that courage to think that things are doable.

  16. Chiz came from a “Trapo” family so he was well-fed, well-educated. Was his dad corrupt then? Only the inhabitants of Sorsogon can answer that for me. Since Chyt D. vouches for him personally, sige I relent na.
    Lakay Braulio should be brought up to Dominican Hill daily with a rocking chair and just enjoy the beauty and elegance of Baguio.
    How could you guys missed it?? Mickey D. got 50k votes coz he swindled the minds of the Pony Boys, and our kankanaey/ibaloi friends by riding a donkey during the Panagbenga!! His strategy worked coz we thought he was one of us, a cowboy in PINK Shirt!
    How I wish Jack Carino saddled up also and shown us how to giddy up, hehe….konsehal na sana sya. I’m confident he’s up to the task next time, I can feel it. Cheers.

  17. Trublue, Chiz’ dad was a Marcos guy. When we were students, he had to endure ribbings. In UP, Marcos’ name was a swear word lalo at panahon yun ng twilight of the Cory presidency when anti-Marcos sentiments were still at their height.

    However, the sin of the father should not be laid on the son. I think ex-Cong. Sonny Escudero paid dearly for his Marcos association and “sins.” He ran for Senator in 2004 and he was among those to garner the least votes.

    Unfortunately for Chiz, he could not choose his father, ano?

    Mickey D? Did the braces do it or undo it?

  18. hi bill:
    mike defensor s partly owners of those companies.

    hi blu:
    i think jack didn’t make it for the council because he is less known to the electorate and for his platform BLIST( original idea na kanu nga kuna ni che balma-gutierez). i think baguio is for baguio and let benguet will stay in benguet. a metropolitan BLIST will not work for this part of the country.

    go CHIZ, the next senate president pro tempore or majority leader! kidding!hehe

  19. Hi Anonymous,
    Thanks. How I hope that we would be like the U.S. in this regard, i.e., that pork barrel would only be used for legitimate purposes and that there will be no kickbacks attached in projects funded by congressional pork barrel.

    You actually articulated what I felt about us Igorots being in a good position to propose alternatives/solutions to the national malaise. I guess this is mainly the reason why I’m so disappointed with Domogan. He began his congressional term with so much promise but something happened along the way. Guess I have to do a post on him in the future. Thanks again.

    Hi Trublue,
    Alla ka baka idemanda ka ni Lakay Brauilo.

    Oo nga ano, baka that’s the secret weapon of Mike D. Next time let’s not give him a horse to ride on para ma-zero siya sa atin if ever he decides to run again (the horror). Thanks.

    Hi Chyt,
    Thanks. I also think that he is, no kobla-koblalen, a good man. Hopefully he remains that way and won’t let power get into his head like what happened to Mike D. Didn’t even realize that Mike D wears braces, I change the channel everytime he’s on TV kasi.

    Hi Anonymous (7:52)
    Really, I didn’t know that. If I were his partners, I will bail out rather than associate with him hehe. Thanks.

  20. I’m another proud Igorot rooting for Chiz. Let’s give him a chance to prove his mettle.


  21. Anonymous 7:10/12:27 – no matter how we enunciate the “pocketing” of porkbarrel, won’t succeed in Pinas. It’s a general practice, they’re like doctors, general practitioneers, not all, MOST of them.
    Since we resisted the Spaniards, maybe it’s time to bear arms again, er, crusade for our own AUTONOMOUS CORDILERRA REGION (ARC)!!! If the Muslims created the ARMM, the ARC can also be a reality. And once this DREAM materializes, then we can build a fortress ala walls of China juxtaposing thru all the CAR provinces. The Igorot Kingdom…
    Anonymous 7:10/12:27, you can hide by the name “Diver” if you so desire..hahaha… Cheers.

  22. Trublue, I became a director of the Cordillera Executive Board which was created to prepare the Cordillera region for autonomy. It was so frustrating for me especially since I was then in my early 20’s. Instead of serving as the mouth of the Cordillera IPs to make Imperial Manila know and respect their aspirations, CEB became an inutile agency as it was used to ram down policies of the national government into the collective throat of the Cordillera peoples. What a shame. We had been clamoring for autonomy because of the irreconcilable conflict between national laws and our customary laws. In the process of preparing the Cordi people for autonomy, the CEB was reinforcing the very system from which we wanted to break free. Inayan pay sa? Was it the fault of the CEB? I would say it was of the national government that engineered the CEB to be inutile.

    So what autonomy are we talking about? It can only happen in our dreams. While we think that it is for the national government to grant and not for us to assert, we will fail. The right to self-determination is a human right. Nobody grants it. But we must assert it for it to be real.

    Hah! I am agreeing with you. Are we ready for a revolution?

  23. Hi Dan,
    Aba, medyo marami din pala ang supporters ni Chiz among us ha. Agree with you that we should give him a chance. Thanks.

    Hi Trublue,
    We really should pursue that autonomy thing pero dapat talagang autonomy unlike the previous proposals which were rejected by voters partly because they didn’t present autonomy at all. I’m not sure if I want the ARMM model because it’s also not autonomy. Biro mo ba naman the ARMM is under the office of the President. What a joke. Thanks.

    Hi Frustrated,
    Nice name 🙂 You kind of captured many peoples feelings about this autonomy thing. And I tend to agree that CEB was ineffective in advancing the cause of autonomy.

    Hehehe. Let’s join our Mindanao siblings in the South and become separatists. Thanks for dropping by and we hope you continue to join us.

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