Where PDAF is lowest: Baguio says, ‘Scrap pork’


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Protesters say Cordillerans are wallowing in poverty while lawmakers are 'raking in' millions in PDAF

'STOP GREED.' Protesters gather at Burnham Park to join the nationwide #MillionPeopleMarch. Photo by Dave Leprozo Jr/Rappler.com

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – Protesters – initially numbering 1,000, gathered here to join the nationwide rallies calling for the abolition of the pork barrel.

Cordillerans are wallowing in poverty, while their congressmen are “raking in” millions from their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), said Abie Anongos of the Cordillera People’s Alliance (CPA).

Compared to other regions, however, the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) gets the lowest PDAF, budget department records show.

There were originally two separate anti-pork barrel rallies planned in Baguio, but the Left-leaning groups originally gathered at the People’s Park joined the “no-color” rally at Burnham Park.

Many in the crowd wore white, the color of the nationwide protest.

A number of protesters, who had brought along their children, left after the city government turned off the “dancing fountain” at the park.

Most of those who stayed were members of CPA, Gabriela Cordillera, Tongtongan ti Umili, and teachers and students of University of the Philippines college in Baguio.

Some members of the LGBT community and artists were also around. 

A ‘bul-ol’ to slaughter the pig

ANTI-PORK RITUAL. Filmmaker Kidlat Tahimik holds a 'bul-ol' statue holding a tied pig. Photo by Dave Leprozo Jr/Rappler.com

Filmmaker and performance artist Kidlat Tahimik patently stole the show when he arrived at the Rose Garden in Burnham Park at around 1:30 pm.

He brought a dozen bul-ols (indigenous rice god statues) and arranged them as in a Greek pantheon, with one in the middle holding a tied pig on its right hand.

“No to pork!” he shouted, to the amusement of the crowd.

In 2013, Cordillera representatives has so far received a combined P263.842 million in PDAF, the lowest among the regions.

More populated regions with more districts – Metro Manila, Southern Luzon, and Central Luzon –expectedly got the highest allocations, in billions.

Cordillera got P611.59 million in PDAF in 2012, and P488.63 million in 2011. Both were the lowest among the regions in those years. – Rappler.com


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