“One of the leading causes of obesity is the misbelief that, when it comes to juice, ‘100%’ means ‘sugar-free.” – Mokokoma Mokhonoana
In the Philippines, there been a long tradition of Pork Barrel or specific payout for government projects for Representatives in the Lower House, the House of Representatives and the senators in the Senate. Because this week has been hectic in touch with tradition. There are back and fourth. There is no end in sight for this rodeo. I will show pieces of it, because, I cannot make sense of it.
If there is, then there is, if its not, its not. However, after the recent week action in the headlines and following the wires. I got nothing. Because, even I am unsure. It is hard to know if there is Pork Barrel within the ratified Budget for 2019, which was ratified on Friday on the 8th February 2019.
Let me show some statements that isn’t coherent, reporting that is not backing each other. From various of sources. Since I feel this is important, because there is lack of consistent messaging, therefore, the truth might surface later. However this is what I have by today.
GMA Reported: “Senators took exception to allegations by House appropriations chairman Rolando Andaya Jr. that they will get P3 billion each in pork allocation in the 2019 budget. Senate President Vicente Sotto III, in a text message, said the accusation of P3 billion per senator as pork “is a slur against the Senate.”” (Amita Legaspi – ‘ No P3-B pork in 2019 budget, senators insist’ (08.02.2019) link: https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/684334/no-p3-b-pork-in-2019-budget-senators-insist/story/).
CNN Philippines Reported: “He was referring to the funds that current House committee on appropriations chair Rolando Andaya said were illegal insertions made by Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno — a charge Diokno has repeatedly denied. Lacson said that around P51 billion of the controversial P75 billion funds have been distributed to all members of the House of Representatives in P20 million chunks. “Of this amount, 20 billion pesos was distributed equally among the almost 300 congressmen, which translates into P60 million per congressman plus additional allocations to those close to the leadership of the House of Representatives. These are all embodied in the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) or the House version transmitted to the Senate,” Lacson said” (CNN Philippines Staff – ‘Lacson: New House leadership continued pork barrel mess’ 08.02.2019, link: http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2019/02/08/lacson-andaya-arroyo-pork-barrel-2019-budget.html).
Manilla Standard Reporting: “In total, the Senate proposed some P25.4 billion in adjustments while the House introduced P20.65 billion in realignments or a total of P46.35 billion under the DPWH where legislators can identify specific projects. Andaya confirmed that each congressman will get P160 million in itemized projects” (Maricel Cruz and Macon Ramos-Araneta – ‘Congress approves budget’ 09.02.2019, link: http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/mobile/article/287358).
Sen. Franklin M. Drilon Press Release: “The minority leader also denied reports that senators will get P3 billion in pork allocation, including a province in the Visayas getting more than P3 billion. He called the allegation “grossly unfair”” (Franklin M. Drilon – ‘Drilon says no to 2019 national budget’ 08.02.2019, link:http://www.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2019/0208_drilon1.asp).
Sen. Leila M. de Lima Press Release: “Kudos to my colleagues in the Minority bloc – Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and Senators Bam Aquino, Risa Hontiveros and Kiko Pangilinan – and, of course, to Sen. Ping Lacson, for their rejection of the pork-laden 2019 budget” (Sen. Leila M. de Lima – ‘Sen. Leila M. de Lima on her colleagues’ rejection of the pork-laden 2019 budget’ 09.02.2019, link: http://www.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2019/0209_delima3.asp).
We are clearly seeing mixed messages, but both sides of this. Where the allocated funds are seen as differently. Therefore, we will see if these allocated funds are for the Pork Barrel or not. Since, the various explanation for these funds are really special. They are showing something and how to interpret the budget itself.
If one side is lying, than they are receiving funds and telling porkies. I am not sure, because if it is, they have tried to be sophisticated, but somewhere the funds leaked out. Someone spoke out and then the ones loyal to the President and the Government calling it “offensive”. Which makes it all weird. Since, why should people lie about special pay-outs, wouldn’t that be a happy-day to see your bank-account to be pregnant?
The Pork Barrels are there maybe or maybe not. By this report and these statements, it could be anything. Certainly porky porkies and even slices of pork chop from those Pork Barrels. Peace.
“[Credit is a system whereby] a person who can’t pay, gets another person who can’t pay, to guarantee that he can pay.” – Charles Dickens
We have seen it for a while, as the Kenyan government have spent much more, than they are actually collecting revenue and getting grants. The Jubilee government have not only siphoned funds, but borrowed funds like a drunk sailor. This administration have not considered the implications of the loans and the deficit, they have created.
Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto has ordered this ship, it has been known. The Grand Corruption by this government alone has made huge losses. Jubilee knows this and the ones that has followed this government. Have seen it with time and discussed it.
Now suddenly Dr. Wagacha says this:
“ Dr Mbui Wagacha, a policy analyst who left the advisory role in the top office last December after five years, says Parliament has looked the other way as the National Treasury gave the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) unrealistic revenue targets only to fall back on debt and expenditure cuts. “We borrowed so much and our headroom for debt has narrowed … there was an over-commitment to capital borrowing and that has left us with narrow headroom for debt,” said Dr Wagacha. “If you look at 2011/2012, we were spending only about 11 per cent of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) directly to repay debt. We are now talking about 57 per cent of GDP in public debt.””(Alushula, 2019).
We know that the state has issues, when the Jubilee are putting austerity measures given by the International Monetary Funds (IMF). While the Jubilee are taking more debt, taking more infrastructure grants and loans, as well as the state is not having the revenue to cover the deficit that has created. This is why the state is paying more of the GDP now, compared to what they did when Kenyatta and Ruto took power.
The Jubilee government could have carried it differently. The Jubilee have used the Eurobonds twice to get fiscal stimulus, but it was also a loan. Therefore, the Jubilee will have to repay those. Just like it has to do with the Chinese loans for the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and others, loans that the state has absorbed within the years of Jubilee.
Dr. Wagacha is speaking the truth, but the state has taken the Kool-Aid. Will it find a way to move forward wisely or will it continue the negative cycle of loans to pay-off the old loans, instead of finding revenue and creating a healthy economy. If not just living within its means and not pushing for more, than you can pay for without credit. Peace.
Patrick Alushula – ‘Ex-Uhuru adviser says debt may affect growth in Kenya’ 05.02.2019, link: https://www.nation.co.ke/lifestyle/smartcompany/Ex-Uhuru-adviser-says-debt-may-affect-growth-in-Kenya/1226-4967482-b1tau4z/index.html
President Uhuru Kenyatta is continuing his rants and promises to go against the ones who are corrupt in Kenya. That is become so old, that I think personally, that its only trick he has up his sleeve, except for a few PR Stunt any rare moment to look golden.
A One Trick Pony is defined by Merriam-Webster as: “one that is skilled in only one area, also : one that has success only once” (Merriam-Webster – One Trick Pony’). With that in mind, we can see that it fits Kenyatta well, because it seems like the only thing he has.
Not like it seems like he has the capacity or ability to do anything else. That is why CS Fred Matiang’i becomes his Mr. Fix-It and Mr. Clean. So, that he can ensure some parts of the Big Four Programme actually get done.
What is the legacy and salvage of this man, who every month and twice a week. Not far fetched, are ranting about fighting corruption, stopping corrupt behaviour, but not seeing any significant results. By all means, the chicken thieves are getting caught, but the ones selling chicken at the IEBC took their G-Walk and resigned. They got their deals and earned, but at a later date appointed elsewhere in the government system. That is just the way it is.
The President can speak ill of the practice, of the acts of illusion and the acts of supposed government activity. However, the reality is that his elite, his cronies and the ones associated with him. Usually his Cabinet Secretaries and other have been implicated, but not touched. The ones running State Owned Enterprises are also misusing their position to bag the public money. Same with the Commissioners and others doing it too. Therefore, the President does this, but only let people go, but after a suspension he cave and give them a new position.
That is why, it is boring reading the same-old, same-old story, that is on repeat. It has been said and ranted about for so long. The tale of battle against the corrupt officials, the appointed officials and the close associates of the President. The President are not going against them, but has issues with Local Government and Civil Servants, but they are eating small-fry, which is bad enough. However, when they look at the people around the Executive they seems like untouchable.
That is why certain can skate away, even some who has eaten for instance with the Eurobonds and the National Youth Service (NYS) funds.
This has continued, there are new proof, now it is the Weston Hotel and the ownership of Deputy President William Ruto, who grabbed the public land to build a luxury hotel. That is the capacity and ability of the people around the President.
Still, with that in mind. He still rants like there is no tomorrow. Everyone will meet the fires of hell, if they are even thinking of acting ill and do a fraud or cheat the state of funds from some government entity.
However, the rants are just empty talk. The threats and the warnings has been so many. That it has more discs than Michael Jackson. It has more tunes than any Mixtape Rapper out there. Because, Kenyatta does it on the regular.
It is time to stop the talk, because this is the one trick that he has. It is time for him to change and act real. Apparently, that is to much to ask. Since with all the years as Head of State. Kenyatta could have acted, but at this point it doesn’t seem real. Peace.