Coalition Launches People’s Initiative

Coalition Launches People’s Initiative to Get Rid of the Pork Barrel System
and a Massive Grassroots Educational Campaign

The Cebu Coalition Against the Pork Barrel System composed of more than seventy (70) organizations from interfaith, academic, business and civil society organizations today launches a People’s Initiative to propose new legislation to get rid of the pork barrel systemically from the country’s laws.

The proposed legislation is worded as follows:

IT IS HEREBY DECLARED UNLAWFUL FOR ANY MEMBER OF CONGRESS TO HAVE OR DEMAND ANY ALLOCATION IN THE GENERAL APPROPRIATIONS ACT OR TO MAKE ANY INSERTION IN THE PROPOSED NATIONAL BUDGET OR THE GENERAL APPROPRIATIONS ACT OR TO INTERFERE OR INTERVENE IN THE LAWFUL IMPLEMENTATION OF ANY PROVISION OF THE GENERAL APPROPRIATIONS ACT BY ANY IMPLEMENTING AGENCY OR OFFICE.

THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT AND ALL DEPARTMENTS IN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH ARE FURTHER PROHIBITED FROM GIVING OR PROVIDING A MEMBER OF CONGRESS ANY ALLOCATION IN THE GENERAL APPROPRIATIONS ACT OR ALLOWING ANY MEMBER OF CONGRESS TO MAKE ANY INSERTION IN THE NATIONAL BUDGET OR THE GENERAL APPROPRIATIONS ACT.

THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT AND ALL DEPARTMENTS IN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH ARE FURTHER PROHIBITED FROM MAKING ANY EXPENDITURE, USE OR DISPOSITION OF PUBLIC FUNDS WHICH IS NOT PROVIDED IN OR CONSISTENT WITH THE GENERAL APPROPRIATIONS ACT.

HOWEVER, NOTHING IN THIS ACT SHALL DIMINISH THE LAWFUL EXERCISE OF THE POWER OF APPRORIATION AND OVERSIGHT BY CONGRESS.

ALL LAWS WHICH ARE INCONSISTENT WITH THE FOREGOING ARE HEREBY REPEALED AND ANY ACT WHICH IS CONTRARY TO OR IN CIRCUMVENTION OF THE FOREGOING IS HEREBY DECLARED NULL AND VOID.

The 1987 Constitution requires that the Coalition must compile at least 10% of the national registered voters list, approximately numbering 52 Million, or a compilation of at least 5.2 million vetted, screened, viable voters supporting the Initiative. In addition, we will also need to have a minimum of at least 3% of all the registered voters in each of the country’s 234 legislative districts.

In order to achieve these numbers, a massive, extensive and thorough campaign of compiling vetted voters’ signatures will be implemented initially through each parish in each of the 86 dioceses around the country. In addition, each school, college, and/or university in every city, town, province and region will be canvassed. Finally, the Coalition will count heavily on the many employees of allied business groups, chambers and companies.

Supporting this massive campaign will be a parallel effort of education and information dissemination by parish, social sector, school district, barangay, city, town, and province. There will be primers on the pork barrel system, how it negatively affects all of us, the current scam, and alternatives to the current system.

The Initiative and Education campaigns will be led and conducted by the Coalition’s 70+ organizations utilizing their varied and many strengths. They will be complemented with the various partners and allies of each of these 70 organizations. With the help of the Church, School and Business sectors, we are confident that we will surpass the constitutional requirements.

The detailed plans for both the People’s Initiative and Education campaigns will be finalized in a National Consultative Meeting to be held on November 9, 2013 at the Betania Retreat House, Nivel Hills, Cebu City.

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