Pork and Perk

The senators get the larger portions of the budget compared to what congressmen get. But I had no idea it was that big. Here's an excerpt from the news article.

Each congressman gets P70 million for his or her district each year.

By comparison, each senator receives P200 million in pork barrel funds annually or P1.2 billion in six years—P2.4 billion if the senator gets reelected for another six years.

Last year alone, the 23-member Senate had a total budget of P1.38 billion while the 236-member House had only P2.93 billion.

Both houses passed only six laws last year but spent P4.31 billion—the equivalent of P718 million for each bill that was enacted into law. [Manila Standard Today – Senate fears…]

My gulay! That's really how much they get? Every year??? And yet they were only able to pass 6 laws last year. Nice.

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Past, Present, Future

Under normal circumstances, I choose not copy-paste text from the Internet that hits me like a bus speeding bus along EDSA on a Monday morning. But this ones is an exception. I want it 'written' here, not just a mere link to another website. Mainly, for my benefit.

This one is for us people who live in three different time zones at the same time: past, present, and future.

Here's the excerpt: 

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Round 2

The Supreme Court has declared that EO 464 is unconstitutional. And now the senate is gearing up for another round of investigations. Well, I don't think the EO 464 would endure indefinitely. And I don't think Malacanang intended it to last that long. It was just meant to delay the inquisitions. And seems that they have succeeded.

It was also good that the SC has already cleared the issue. Sen. Arroyo was right when he said that there should be balance between the executive and the legislative branches of the government. I agree with him, despite the tendency of the senate to grill its guests. So I thought that it was just natural for the cabinet members to protect themselves (not necessarily the President) from any humiliation.

Anyways. Although, the neutralization of EO 464 does not guarantee that they will get the answers that the Senate (and the concerned Filipinos as well) want. Malacanang has probably been preparing for this moment too.

But at least, there's the chance again to uncover the truth about the gazillion issues connected with the Arroyo presidency. I just hope that the senators won't over do their investigation.

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Feed Stats

I just found that WordPress has a new feature. In addition to its Blogstats, it now has a Feed Stats. It basically estimates the numeber of people who read my feed. I know it's a useful feature,

What interests me more is the thought that there's a handful of people reading the feeds of my blog. Yikes! Hehe 🙂 I wonder if they're really reading this. I wonder if that's good or bad. Oh well. It's a free country. You can read what you want to read, and blog what you want to blog.

UPDATE:

Wow! And there are new widgets too! A calendar, feeds, and Flickr.  

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Holy Week

I’m barely feeling the holiness of the holy week because of work. I was able to ask for a break from my weekend work but my weekday work didn’t even slow down. Well, it did. No on Good Friday, but to make up for “lost production time”, Saturday is regular day. It’s evil, I know. So I told my supervisor that I will not go to work. I had to lie about it though, which is bad considering that it is the holy week – the holiest week of the year.

Under normal circumstances, I reserve this week for myself. I do my fixing and cleaning. And more importantly, I try to find time to reflect on my life. Well, the reflecting part is more like an everyday activity during work. (It’s a good thing that manual work requires very little thinking.) But reflecting on holy week is supposed to be different because it is done in the perspective of religion. I’m a Roman-Catholic, or at least I was baptized and raised as one.

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Fr. Bernas and His Constitution

Fr. Bernas may have point when he said here that Gloria is insulting the Supreme Court by pursuing changing the constitution. There is 1997 SC ruling that there is no enabling law to amend the constitution via people’s initiative. How do we get to have the enabling law? Via the legislative branch of course. But we already know that they will never create one – that would be like writing about their own demise.

So why is Malacanang pursuing the signature campaign? I don’t think it’s really legal process to change the constitution. It’s more of asking the people if they want to support a change in the political system. Or maybe, Malacanang simply wants the people to be at least curious. Right now, no one, I think, really trusts the presidential system. Or the president. Or the Congress and the Senate. And now, I’m not even sure I trust the Supreme Court. Heck, I don’t trust the government in general.

Will the parliamentary system work for us? I don’t know. Nobody really knows, I think. But if this present form of government has been rendered magulo and ineffective, I guess, parliamentary is the alternative. Why would people not want to change the constitution? Or change an ineffective form of government altogether?

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Congress Wants To Be The President

This is going to be a short entry.

In this news article, the Congress is so against Charter Change via the so-called People's Initiative. First, they say that there's no enabling law for it. And now, they say the President can't touch its contingent fund. And that this move is immoral. Etc. Etc.

Congress (or the Legislative branch for that matter), you're twisted. If you wanted to rule everything, you should have all run for presidency! You want the decision making to solely lie on you. You want fund allocation and money spending to lie on you. Aba! Eh di kayo na magpatakbo ng bansa! Last time I checked, the President is the highest position in the government. So go back to making laws that work for us and not yourselves or not against the president.

I'm not a big fan of Gloria either, but hey, let us face the reality that she's IS the only viable option for leading the country. (If you use the term "leading" loosely of course.) But at least, she admits the constitution needs to be changed. She just needs to stay "up there" long enough to push these major political and socio-economic changes. We badly need them.

Charter Change is not about whether we have the funds or not. It's about changing the flawed constitution. Now.

The only interest that these fine congessmen are protecting is their own. They want to protect their power. (They're already worried about the 2007 elections!) They want to protect their money. And they want to protect a "constitution" that sustain their political species.

I say, go change the constitution and let's get rid of these congressmen.

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