Senator Bam Aquino says that “the people’s impatience” toward corruption and impunity is “a good sign,” citing the “Million People March” that mobilized thousands of Filipino citizens in different parts of the country on Monday.
The “Million People March” was born out of highly publicized “pork barrel scam” that amounted to at least P10 billon and allegedly involved dozens of lawmakers.
“The people’s impatience on this issue is a positive development for reform-minded public servants,” Sen. Aquino points out.
“Ang taumbayan ang nag-uudyok sa mga opisyales na ipagpatuloy at isatupad ang mga repormang kinakailangan natin. Sila ang lakas namin upang gawin ang mga bagay na magdadala ng pagbabago sa mga baluktot na sistema, at magsusupil sa mga tiwali na nagnakaw sa bayan,” he adds.
The young Aquino, a reform advocate with a long history of youth and civic leadership, likewise calls on fellow lawmakers and colleagues in government to “heed the people’s call” and use public funds “to truly empower the people instead of enriching a select few.”
“People’s Fund” instead of PDAF
Toward this end, Sen. Aquino is filing “The People’s Fund,” a bill that aims to give taxpayers more direct control over public funds.
The People’s Fund “seeks to revolutionize public budgeting and funding by giving the taxpayers of the Philippines clear and concrete choices on where their money should go.”
It provides a mechanism for five percent (5%) of an individual’s income tax to be allocated to either of the following: (a) an accredited charity or civil society organization; (b) a national or local priority government project; or (c) a legitimate political party.
Sen. Aquino had said regarding the bill, “People are sick and tired of seeing their taxes go to waste when precious money could instead be channeled toward initiatives that truly benefit millions of Filipinos. It’s time for the PDAF to go and bring the power back to the people through the People’s Fund.”