Monday, March 7, 2011
Pork Barrel is the Best Equalizer
QUESTION: Sir John, what is your position on Pork Barrel?
ANSWER: I support Pork Barrel because it is the best equalizer and it is demand-driven. No one has ever defeated me in a debate on Pork Barrel. It is IMPOSSIBLE for the CONGRESSMAN to steal money from Pork Barrel. I challenge ANYONE to stand up and explain to me HOW a Congressman could steal MONEY from Pork Barrel.
It is the Agencies/Departments of the Executive Branch who implement the Pork Barrel projects. If there is overpricing, it is not the fault of the Congressmen.
At present, YES there is overpricing and red-taping of the projects, and these anomalies are done by the PNoy Administration who now holds the Executive Branch.
FahdMeya Marohombsar: A congressman can earn his share of the pork through the winning contractor after a mocked bidding. I guess!
ANSWER: That's a nice question. The Congressman has no jurisdiction or influence over the bidding. The entire bidding process is a sole jurisdiction of the agency or department of the Executive Branch who implements the project.
Successful collusion among bidders is still a failure of the bidding administrator, in all cases failure of the Executive Branch.
The function of a Bidding Administrator is undertaken by the PBAC. PBAC is an organic personel component of the Executive Branch, not the Congressman.
I think there is a provision that says PBAC is supposed to be participated in by representatives from the private sector. Why is it that there is no Anti-Corruption Advocates who join PBACS as a private sector watchdog?
PROFESSIONALIZE THE PROCUREMENT SERVICE
Sa Pilipinas, grabe ang failure ng Procurement and Bids Committee ng kahit anong sangay ng pamahalaan, grabe ang INSIDER trading. Sa haba ng estorya, isa lang ang masasabi kong solution. Values Formation ang kailangan. Dapat meron nang Bachelor of Science in Procurement Service. Dapat may Code of Ethics, Board Exam, and professional licensing requirement.
Pero bago eto gawin, ayusin muna ang Professional Regulation Commission dahil INUTILE yang institution na yan and it is also infested with thick-faced red-tape.
TYPICAL ANTI PORK BARREL ARGUMENT
By: QUI TAM LAWS VS. CORRUPTION
CORRUPT LAWMAKERS get to steal certain percentage of the pork barrel funds through kickbacks.
These lawmakers have their “favorite” contractors who get to win the biddings conducted by the implementing agencies (like the DPWH in the case of infrastructure projects) through the collusion of other contractors (who make sure that their bids are lower than those of the “favorite” contractors) and officials of the implementing agencies.
The “favorite” contractors of course set aside portions of the loot for the other contractors and the officials of the implementing agencies (who colluded with them), and kick back a certain percentage of the funds to the lawmakers.
Lawmakers, contractors and other government officials are able to do this easily because the prices of materials regularly submitted by the implementing agencies are far higher than the actual prices. Hence, there is much room for manipulations, and nobody verifies (not even most COA auditors) the actual prices on the ground.
But even if COA auditors should verify the actual prices on the ground and the anomalies are discovered, the lawmakers can hardly be pinned down legally because documents show that he merely chose the project. They can only be pinned down if the contractors and officials of the implementing agencies testify against them!
Sometimes, the whole funds are stolen by certain lawmakers by coming up with ghost projects, faking the necessary documents, but these usually happen in areas where lawmakers are warlords. They succeed because everybody, including COA auditors, are afraid of them.
Hence, the only effective way of stopping corruption in the pork barrel funds is to scrap them!
How do you ascertain that it is the congressman who masterminds the rigging of the bids? Would it be more rational if the the awarder of the bid is the mastermind?
I'll tell you a thing that you can't see. Actually, ang anti-congressional-pork lobbyists ay ang mga masterminds ng bid rigging sa executive branch na gusto solohin ang lahat na projects ng gobyerno. Congressional Pork is the greates equalizer that will ensure wide distribution of projects.
Merong different layers ang project: (1) Project Identification, (2) Project Feasibility Study Preparation (3) Project Appraisal and Financing, (4) Detailed Project Engineering, (5) Project Bidding and Implementation, (6) Project Monitoring, and (7) Post-Project Evaluation.
Ang Congressman sa Project Identification stage lang yan sila ma involve. All the rest of the stages are done in the Executive Branch. Ang Bid Rigging ay ginagawa sa preparation ng Project Implementation Stage, and it is unethical for the executive branch to allow the Congressman to get involved in stage 2-7.
@Cairia, ang gatekeeper ng ethics ay ang executive branch department na nag iimplement ng project, hindi congressman.
Romero Jo, meron talagang Post-Project Evaluation stage. Part yan ng whole project process. Nakakalusot ang Ghost Project pag tumatanggap ng pera ang evaluator ng NEDA. I am an Economist, an Ex NEDAn, and my father was a retired NEDA Engineer who retired in 1998 and died in 2000 with P500 savings in his bank account. My only inheritance is a good name and book from him titled: "Project Development Manual".
If you want to stop project corruption, iboto nyo muna ako pagka-Senador, kakapalan ko na mukha ko kahit wala akong pera at dugong-oligarch. Ang plano ko dyan ay napaka simple, pero napaka-effective, something I learned from the American Government (having worked in it for 7 years).
The solution is something I call "Mandatory Anti-Corruption Seminar" sa lahat na government employees ang contractors. Twice a year eto na One-Hour Online Seminar cum Certification Exam. Pag magawa na etong batas na eto, gusto ko exit na ako pagka Senador and I want to personally oversee its implementation. Oks ba?
24 naman ka Senador yan, isang seat lang hinihingi ko, atsaka 3 years lang ok na exit na ako. Sana makatulong ako sa Bayan sa MALAKING paraan.
Sa Anti-Corruption Seminars, eto mga sumusunod ang kailangan malaman ng mga Govt Employees and Contractors:
1. What are the different kinds of corruption schemes and what are the penalties?
2. How to safely and properly report a corruption that you personally witnessed?
3. How the government guarantees your protection as a corruption witness and reporter?
4. What are the actions that government will do to respond to a corruption report?
5. What are the awards, recognition, and cash rewards the reporter or witness is entitled to?
Alam mo sa US Government, bilang employee na nag aadminister ng project, once na ibigay mo ang personal cellphone number mo sa mga contractor ng project eh sigurado sisante ka na agad kinabukasan. Dito sa Pinas, susmaryosep, mga govt administrators dining and wining together with contractors! Grabe!
Mga dudes, hindi sa COA ang solution ng corruption. Too late na pag sa COA ka mag-susunog ng kilay. Nangyari na ang corruption pag sa COA mo na aayusin. Too late the hero ka na. Yang mga anti-corruption daw sila na sa COA ang gusto nila ayusin, mga peke na anti-corruption yan, gusto lang nyan gamitin ang COA para mang-hulidap.
Ang importante ay PREVENTION. Hindi mangyayari ang corruption pag maayos ang gate-keepers sa Project Implementation Stage lalo na sa bidding stage. Nasa Procurements Bids and Award Committee (PBAC) ang solution dyan na dapat pag-tuunan ng pansin.
Ang PBAC ay meron talaga yang Civil Society Representative, so okay na tayo dyan lamang na tayo. Kailangan mo lang nitong mga Mandatory Seminars na gusto ko i-legislate para KNOWLEDGEABLE ang mga gatekeepers kung ano angrole nila at ano ang dapat nilang gawin.
Hindi ko ma-intindihan kung bakit maraming Pilipino na naniniwala sa myth na pera yang pork barrel na binibigay sa mga Congressman. Hindi po yan pera. Ang Pork Barel ay privilege lang yan na mag-identify ng project. Kaya merong limitation ang Pork Barrel amount dahil para hindi naman puro congressionally referred ang lahat na projects, ehh napat meron ding nationally identified projects.
The Congressman is not involved in the bidding and implementation of the project. In fact, ang Executive branch (let's say DPWH) ay takot yan sila mangurakot ng Pork-Barel Projects dahil tinututukan ng mga constituents ng Congressman ang monitoring sa mga Pork Barel Projects.
Kaya patuloy yang corruption dahil mali ang tao na tinatahulan ng mga watchdog. Maraming dyan watchdog kuno pero hindi alam kung ano ang project stages, nakakalungkot.
Yang District Engineer ay isa yan sa mga tinatawag ko na Gate Guards, kasama din dyan ang PBAC members. May Pork Barrel man o wala, pag bobo or corrupted na ang operating system ng kaluluwa ng Project Implementing Staff ng Executive Branch (halimbawa yang District Engineer), kayang-kaya ng Congressman o kung sino mang ma-influensiya na tao (businessman, politician, or church) na gawing puppet ang District Engineer.
Yang Engineer na yan ang gusto ko ipa-seminar ng twice a year kung ano ba ang mandate niya, sino ba ang boss niya, ano ba ang procedure na susundin niya, at ano ang gagawin niya pag may mag-attempt na i-breach ang tamang landas.
Sino ba binayan mo ng sweldo para hindi makaroon ng briberyhan? Diba ang implementing staff mo sa Executive Branch? Pag pumalpak yang taong yan, may problema ang management skills mo or training or values formation.
Teka, naintindihan nyo ba na ang pork barrel ay hindi yan pondo na "binibigay" or "pinapahawakan" or kina-cash advance" sa Congressman? Ganito yan ha, mga iha mga iho, ganito ang pork barrel.
Let's say for example ako Congressman ng Cagayan de Oro. Merong budget ang DPWH and LGU para sa mga infra projects sa Cagayan de Oro. Pero let's say merong isang mahirap na bario na lumapit sa akin na nangangailangan ng road and potable water hose pero wala sa program ng DPWH and LGU. Ang gagawin ko bilang Congressman ay susulat ako ng referral letter sa DPWH telling DPWH that my constituents have identified this road project and I want the project funded and implemented, charge it to my Pork Barrel. Ang gagawin ng DPWH, popondohan yang Pork Barrel Project pero ang DPWH ang mag-administer ng bidding and implementation ng project.
Pork Barrel is simply a courtesy of project identification given by the Executive Branch to the Legislative Branch. Hindi yan pondo na hinahawakan ng Congressman. Na-intindihan ninyo?
Si Lacson ay isang Senador na hindi nag-rerefer ng project sa Executive Branch (hindi gumagamit ng Pork Barrel) kasi nahihiya siya sa Executive Branch dahil binabatikos niya eto bilang opposition. Naintindihan ninyo? Pag opposition ka kasi, siyempre batikosero ka, hindi pagbibigyan ang Pork Barrel projects mo, so useless mag refer ka ng project eh iipitin din naman.
If Ping does not use his Pork Barrel privilege, it does not make him uncorrupt.