Where Pork Barrel Funds Go

What exactly is a Pork Barrel fund? And why are legislators granted with such huge amounts of money if they are primarily supposed to enact laws and not projects? Explore the nature of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) aka Pork Barrel of members of the Senate of the Philippines and House of Representatives of the Philippines.

The origin of the term “pork barrel” dates back to a time when refrigerators had not yet been invented. It was an old Western custom to preserve meat in actual wooden barrels for future consumption.

Connoting fat and grease and stored resources, the term has since seeped into ordinary conversations as a metaphor for political largesse.

In the Philippine setting, pork barrel refers to congressional allocations such as the priority development assistance fund (PDAF), financial subsidies to local government units (FSLGU), and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) lump sum allocations for infrastructure projects identified by Congress.

Simply put, it’s that portion of the national budget that is widely left to the legislators’ discretion when it comes to how the funds are spent.

More of the topic here.

School building. Financial assistance. Hospitals. Roads. Find out where the biggest chunk of the lawmakers’ pork barrel went.

GMA News Research and GMA News Special Assignments Team are teaming up for a groundbreaking new series called ‘Pork Chopped: Pagsiyasat sa Pork Barrel ng Kongreso.’ An Investigative Series on the Pork Funds of the Philippine Congress.

Do lawmakers spend Pork Barrel funds on projects that are most needed by their constituents?

Several much-needed projects have been funded by pork funds, such as roads and infrastructure (51%) which made up most of the Pork Barrel allocations from the Philippine Congress from 2003-2005 and 2009-2010. But a closer look by GMA News Research discovered that 25 congressmen allocated their Pork Barrel funds to projects that covered areas which are outside of their jurisdiction. With this anomaly, the question now is–why do pork expenses get away from the stringent rules and regulations of government spending?

Instead of water supply projects, majority of pork funds allotted to waterless provinces in the Philippines went to financial assistance, construction of multi-purpose buildings, flood control projects and school buildings. Don’t lawmakers conduct proper studies and consultation to determine the most needed projects of their constituents? Or they just opt for projects that can help endorse their names?

Know where the  Pork Barrel funds went with this infographic from GMA News Research:


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