Friday, September 13, 2013

On Pork Barrel Funds

Foto taken from
by Alan S. Cajes

Many Filipinos have voiced out their opinions about the pork barrel funds. Let me just share some thoughts about this issue.

My disagreement with the idea of providing funds to senators and representatives started in 1995 when I studied Philippine Constitutional History under Prof. Dr. F.H. Hornedo at the Graduate School of the University of Santo Tomas. The idea was simple: The Executive implements the law, the Legislative enacts the laws, and the Judiciary interprets the law. If any branch fails to perform its function or abuses its authority, then there is a dysfunction in the system of government. Indeed, the system is good, but it has the tendency to become evil. Hence, systems of government are like human beings. My 2001 paper entitled Rethinking the Concept of Sovereignty gives more details.

A better way of addressing the problem on pork barrel funds is not possible within the context that gives rise to the problem. The Presidential System of Government has been unsuccessful in developing “inclusive political institutions” that will interpret, and respond to, the needs of the people. To paraphrase Albert Einstein, we cannot solve a problem with the same system that created it. Thus, my humble opinion is to change the system of government from presidential to parliamentary form. My Critique of the Presidential Form of Government explains this point further.

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