The “hottest” news these days in the Philippines is about the so-called “pork barrel” that members of the Senate and Congress enjoy. If you wish to know more about it, please click on the phrase. The term has actually a long history under it, and it is not in reality an exclusive Philippine politics “invented” name but, it actually originated in the US of A (where else) and has traveled to other countries including the UK, Australia, in Central and Eastern Europe, the Scandinavian countries and German speaking countries. So, it is more or less wide-spread privilege among politicians in various countries. However, the worst case scenario is in the Philippines!, where-else. Let me qualify that “where-else” I used, both for the US and the Philippines. Insofar as the US is concerned, there had been changes made and the matter has become more legalized in a sense, since now, the US has what is called now the US Senate Committee on Appropriations that takes control of the expenditures of the senate and congress members. The good point about it is that, control is already existing and being exercised. It doesn’t sound now as being “money to be pocketed by the politicians”.
In the Philippine scenario, it remains to be more “illegally-legalized” because the members of the Philippine Senate and Congress need not justify expenditures made with the use of the “pork barrel”. We can in fact see the obvious effects of this “pork barrel” money. Note that the majority of the Senate and Congress members do really look-like themselves “pork” as they are getting fatter and fatter as their days in politics continue. We have therefore a more physical manifestation of the “pork barrel” in the Philippine Senate and Congress. They could not deny therefore that they are really and relentlessly “enjoying” the “pork” they “eat” and “feed” their bellies and pockets with.
So what is going on now? There are a lot of things going on in Philippine politics now because of the “pork barrel”. The attention is so much to it that the Senate and Congress are neglecting the more important issues such as education, employment, the growing population, social related problems, etc. All these things could be resolved if the pork barrel will just be spent in accordance to the needs of the Filipinos. But, it is the entire contrary what is happening and everybody remains skeptical about the real intentions of the lawmakers to abolish the “pork barrel”. For ages, there had been intentions to rid of that “privilege” and so far, it has only turned to be a “theatrical show” of the politicians. There shall be no “honest-to-goodness” intentions, while the Philippines remain to be run by traditional politicians who despite already looking like “zombies“, (some of them do) stay at the helm of Philippine politics.
What else is new therefore? Who is fooling who? Well, us, the lowly and ordinary Filipinos in the Philippines. One US politician once put it, “the Philippines is a rich country made poor by its politicians”. True enough. As long as the country remains with the same names, with same politicians with “pork-looking-faces“, the country and the Filipinos will continue to suffer. End of my thoughts.