SWP Dares Budget Bicam: Get Rid of Pork in 2019 Budget; Open the Bicam Process to the Public | SWP Press Release 23 Jan 2019
SOCIALWATCH PHILS·WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23, 2019
As the Senate approved its version of the P3.757 trillion 2019 budget bill on third and final reading on Monday, budget group Social Watch Philippines (SWP) renews its call against pork barrel in any form or scheme in the national budget. “All eyes are now on the House and the Senate which will form the Bicameral Conference Committee (Bicam) on the budget. We hope that a reconciled General Appropriations Bill (GAB) will be passed devoid of pork.”
In 2013, the Supreme Court (SC) ruling on the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) declared unconstitutional the significant role of legislators in budget execution, which is a function of the Executive branch. “This is because in the past, lawmakers were able to determine specific projects for their districts and identify the contractors and suppliers for project implementation,” SWP observed. This process was widely seen as a source of corruption because of the kickbacks received by legislators.
SWP to Senate: WANT IMPROVED HEALTH CARE? Ensure sustainable funding for UHC | SWP Press Release 18 Jan 2019
Social Development and MDGS
Healing the World and
Making it a Better Place
The world free of poverty is yet to be. What we are seeing now is a World that is hurting, and so deeply that there seems to be no relief or end in sight. It is now 20 years from Rio when and where most everyone agreed humanity was at a defining moment. Back then, we thought we had the answer. Now, we are not sure anymore. The human race and the planet are ailing and the present is not the future we wanted 20 years ago.
Ex-treasurer scores P282.2-billion presidential ‘pork’ for ‘Yolanda’
Former National Treasurer and Social Watch Philippines Convenor Prof. Leonor Magtolis-Briones questioned the P282.5-billion “presidential pork,” which is way higher than the P33-billion rehabilitation funds for Yolanda victims. She said a huge portion of the P2.264-trillion national budget for 2014 included the Special Purpose Funds (SPF) worth P282.5 billion, or the “lump-sum appropriations.” She said these funds replaced the controversial P25.6-billion pork-barrel funds that were realigned in key line agencies. Briones said it is not surprising that these funds are now the so-called presidential pork, since the disbursements will only be upon approval of President Aquino.
Alternative Budget Initiative
Reclaiming the People’s Purse
Public funds came from the people and should therefore be utilized primarily to ensure better quality of life for the people. But dowe hear actual voices of slum dwellers, indigenous people, farmers, fishers and persons with disabilities when the local and national budgets are being formulated and planned? Peoples’ money should improve people’s lives. Government invested billions of public funds to end poverty; but global and national economic growth left 1.9 billion people poorer and hungrier and with less opportunity for shelter, healthcare and education.
People's Public Finance Institute (PPFI)
SWP spearheads the ceation of People's Public Finance Institute, a learning center for both state and non-state actors towards making public fiance a major concern of every citizen; not just of a very small group of experts. The institute set-ups local learning hubs based in unversities and operated by pool of cadres from the academe committed to share expertise and engage the public finance processes.
Social Watch questions
gov’t poverty stats
A CIVIL SOCIETY GROUP advocating citizens’ participation in public finance has challenged the Aquino administration’s latest poverty statistics that tend to show a significant cut in poverty rates.
Regional and Global Initiatives
Social Watch Asia and
Social Watch International
At the global level, Social Watch engages governments, the UN system, and international organizations for the fulfillment of national, regional and international commitments to eradicate poverty and achieve social progress. It regularly monitors progress and shortfall in social development based on the government’s commitment to various international conferences and agreements as consolidated in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Random Reflections on Day One of the UN Summit
Security was tight during the Papal address at the Opening Plenary of the UN Summit, so I missed these events as only a few civil society representatives could be accommodated, but certainly this was better than Addis Ababa during the 3rd Financing for Conference. The UN General Assembly formally adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the opening session without further debate as the document had gone through months of debates ad revisions before Member States agreed on the final text.
Social Watch Philippines (SWP) turn over 200,000 signatures to Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito in support of the passage of the Universal Health Care bill and Tobacco Tax Increase bill on Thursday, September 20 during a Manila Youth Leader’s Assembly held at Polytechnic University of the Philippines Sta Mesa.