HAPPY NEW YEAR!
That being said, the new year brings with it new hopes, dreams, promises, and challenges. For many Filipinos shocked, astounded, and angered by the excesses of 2013, there is perhaps no challenge bigger and more controversial than that of the pork barrel in all its forms – Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), the President’s Social Fund, intelligence funds, etc.
In August 2013, President Benigno S. Aquino III took what appeared to be a bold step – announcing the abolition of the PDAF, just one of many lump sum funds in the budget. The announcement was met with skepticism by those familiar with the budget process, as the Executive can not just abolish a fund that is provided for in the budget. This was followed by a decision by the Supreme Court that had better legal grounding – abolishing the PDAF in November 2013.
Our first Data a Day for the year:
Aside from a Supreme Court ruling, how else can the PDAF be legally abolished? Through a Presidential declaration? Through an act of Congress? Through the Pope’s New Year message?