Tag Archives: Bayani Fernando

Militants question P1.1 B billion MMDA budget for Manila Bay clean up

Militants question P1.1 B billion MMDA budget for Manila Bay clean up

The fisherfolk activist group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Tuesday vowed to question the P 1.1 billion budget allocated by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) in connection with the Manila Bay clean up.

Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said his group will prepare a position paper opposing the huge public fund allocated by Malacañang and will submit once the House of Representatives discusses the 2010 national budget pertaining to MMDA and the Manila Bay clean up.

“The clean up should be undertaken collectively and separately by local government units situated along the bay, together with concerned government agencies. The MMDA should be taken out of the picture since its functions overlap with the functions of government agencies and local government units. The best thing to do is to abolish the MMDA,” said Hicap.

“P 1.1 billion is P 1.1 billion. This will make the MMDA the government’s super agency in the National Capital Region. Given its notorious records of high crimes of corruption, daily political arrogance and extreme brutality, the proposed budget for MMDA’s Manila Bay clean up will make it an uncontrollable monster in 2010,” the Pamalakaya leader added.

Hicap said the huge budget allocated for the MMDA could be one the compelling reasons why the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) suddenly inked a pact with MMDA, to maximize not only its human resources, but as well the huge funds allocated to it for counter-insurgency operations and urban militarization.

“The P1.1 billion MMDA budget is really a mouth-watering banana for the AFP. The military can exploit the people of MMDA and its resources,” he added.

Pamalakaya said instead of giving MMDA the lion’s share in the budget for Manila Bay clean up, Metro Manila lawmakers and local government units representing all cities and municipalities in the National Capital Region should call for the abolition of the authority.

“National and local candidates who will call for the abolition of MMDA will earn the respect and the desired votes from Metro electorates. It is an electoral agenda voters from all classes A,B,C,D and E will support. It is winning electoral piece for 2010,” the group observed.

DBM Secretary Rolando Andaya said the government has allocated over one billion pesos, P 848 million for MMDA’s solid waste disposal and management and another P 250 million for the relocation of informal settlers on open waterways in Metro Manila for a grand total of P 1.098 billion for the clean up of Manila Bay.

Andaya said, the MMDA will spend P 223-million for operational support, maintenance, repair and rehabilitation of flood control systems, P 100 million for the mitigation of floods in the Gil Puyat Avenue-South Superhighway Area. The authority will also allot P 58 million for flood control and drainage projects in Metro Manila, and another P 50-million for urgent flood control projects.

The P 1.1 billion allocation for MMDA is part of the P 1.6 billion the government had alloted for the Manila Bay clean up. Pamalakaya said the P 1.1 billion for MMDA will be used to demolish fisherfolk and bay people, as well as hundreds of thousands of urban poor families along Pasig River in response to the Supreme Court ruling on Manila Bay. #

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GMA told: “We cannot eat government infomercials

Palace wasted P 298 million for white elephant TV ads, says Pamalakaya
GMA told: “We cannot eat government infomercials

The fisherfolk activist group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Sunday told President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and members of her Cabinet who figured in so-called government paid informercials that these paid TV ads cannot resolve joblessness, poverty and hunger across-the-country.

“The P 298 million taxpayers money spent by Malacañang on infomercials have no mitigating impact on the lives of jobless, hungry and starving millions. The 27.6 million poorest Filipinos all over the country will not benefit from this “running teleserye of state propaganda and political deception,” said Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said in a press statement.

“This barrage of informercials promoting the senatorial candidacy of Arroyo anointed candidates in the 2010 elections is a national robbery of public funds. Malacañang should stop this electoral oriented infomercials to stop the bleeding of national coffers and save taxpayers money from all-out financial depletion,” added Hicap.

At the hearing called by Senate Committee on Economic Affairs, administration Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago demanded that officials remove themselves from the infomercials or she would move to cut the ads of their agencies budgets.

It was found out that the office of the Home Development Mutual Fund or PAG-IBIG chaired by Vice President Noli de Castro was the biggest spender for informercials chunking P 172 million out of the recorded P 298 million expenses for government infomercials. De Castro is reportedly eying the presidency in 2010 national elections.

Efraim Genuino, chair of the state-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation or Pagcor said his office spent P 82 million for the ads this year alone, while the Department of Health according to Secretary Francisco Duque spent P 32.4 million for his infomercials in 2009.

The Metro Manila Development Authority chaired by Bayani Fernando said some P 5.8 million in taxpayers’ money was spent for the informercials of his office, featuring him in all these TV ads, while the Department of Education said it spent P 5.7 million for infomercials. Bayani of MMDA and education secretary Jesli Lapus were reportedly running in the senatorial race under the administration ticket next year.
Pamalakaya said the P 298 million taxpayers money spent for government TV ads could have been used to buy 11,920,000 kilos of well milled rice at P 25 per kilo. The amount of money spent is capable of bringing in 37,250,000 pieces of noodles at P 8 per piece to urban and rural poor communities all over the country.

The militant group said the P 298 million spent for infomercials if properly disposed can create 2,980 new classrooms or 2,980 modest housing units pegged at P 100,000 per classroom and per house.

“ A lot of things can be done in the name of public interest and national welfare of the poor Filipinos, but the government opted to waste public funds to glamorize and promote the senatorial wannabes of Lakas-CMD and Kampi parties,” said Pamalakaya.

The militant group said those government officials who figured in state-sponsored infomercials should resign from public office to prevent them from further using the public funds to advance their respective political careers.

Pamalakaya said Secretary Duque of DoH, Secretary Lapus of DepEd, Fernando of MMDA, VP de Castro of Pag-Ibig, as well as Interior and Local government Secretary Ronaldo Puno and Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro should order their respective departments to pull out their infomercials and quit as secretaries of their respective departments. #

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