Mila D. Aguilar. P1 Trillion+. Pork, both Congress' and the President's. What a wonderful sum for PLANNED year-on-year economic development! The genuine abolition of pork barrel should lead to it.
My proposal on its proper use takes on three main lines:
1. Place the amount in the regular national budget, but earmarked as Strategic Economic Development Funds.
2. Institute CHECK & BALANCE on the funds, letting the executive branch propose the strategic plan year-on-year, but giving the legislative AS A WHOLE, in open sessions, the power to review, propose changes, and approve the plan as it currently does with the national budget.
This means no individual legislator can appropriate any amount for himself (or ostensibly, for his constituents) anymore, but can still suggest, subject to open debate, a better ECONOMIC plan for his area.
3. Strategic economic development should mean that the funds will be used for the following purposes alone:
3.1. The building and maintenance of INFRASTRUCTURE necessary to ensure the equalization of economic opportunities all over the land, to wit:
3.1.1. Roads and bridges up to feeder roads
3.1.2. Strategically placed flood control systems
3.1.3. Strategically planned sources of electricity designed to bring down its cost (combined hydro, solar, wind, depending on area)
3.1.4. An Internet superhighway with its own feeder roads for the farthest reach
3.1.4. A strategic plan to ensure clean water systems everywhere
3.2. The systematic upgrading of our educational SUPERSTRUCTURE to ensure a progressively developing population who all contribute to economic development:
3.2.1. Establishment of K-12 Entrepreneurial Community Schools in urban and rural poor areas, where all subjects are geared towards the launch of practical entrepreneurial projects together with parents and the community affected.
3.2.2. Upgrading of state colleges and universities so that they respond in a planned and systematic way to national needs, without overproducing graduates in any profession, and with the view of producing professionals who can contribute concretely to national economic development, such as engineers especially in the computer sciences.
3.2.3. Institution of large-scale R&D programs that will lead to the development of our basic industries and the manufacturing sector.
3.2.4. Upgrading, financing, computerization, modernization of the judicial system so that the Filipino will start to feel that there is justice in his/her country after all.
PNoy decreed what pork barrel should not be spent on. Let the people decree WHAT it should become -- a strategic part of the national budget with its checks and balances -- and HOW it should be spent: for planned economic development alone.
NOTHING should be left unprogrammed, NOTHING left to the discretion of any one individual or branch of government. Even calamity funds can be planned.
Exciting times for deep-going change! Once we make it -- through prayer, passion and action -- we shall have established one piece of God's Kingdom here on earth.
Proverbs 12:19a, 20b -
"Truthful lips endure forever,
...those who plan peace have joy."
Los Angeles, California