DECEMBER 9 was International Anti-Corruption Day, and only those who have been hiding under a rock would be unaware just how big a corruption issue the pork barrel scandal had been in 2013.

Obviously, the next question should be: What next?

As part of the international network that commemorated the International Anti-Corruption Day, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism invited public finance experts, mainstream and citizen journalists, and civil society representatives to a public forum to discuss the next steps of citizens in fighting the corruption that pervades the lump sum system.

The forum, named Pork and Other Perks: The Citizens’ To-Do Tasks for 2014 and Beyond, was supported by the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime. The forum aims to bring together all stakeholders on the issue of public finance to discuss ways to move the discussion on the pork barrel and other lump sums forward.

Pork barrel has been a hot topic for the second part of 2013 after whistleblowers revealed that billions of pesos in pork barrel funds have been going to legislators and middlemen through ghost nongovernment organizations. Organizers of the forum thought it best to plan the next steps for 2014 and beyond so that the issue of lump sum funds continues to stay in the radar screens of a more watchful public.

The slideshow below is made from images taken during the public forum last December 9, with snippets and memorable quotes from some of the participants who shared their views, opinions, and suggestions. The slideshow was created by PCIJ intern Mara Cepeda using images taken by PCIJ Multimedia deputy producer Cong B. Corrales.

The live blog of the forum may be read here.


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