The 2022 election will mark the renaissance of youth in progressive political action in the Philippines, the most crucial in the history of the country, as new set of leaders will emerge to move the country further upward and forward.
Thirty-four million young men and women representing 52 percent or within the age of 18 to 40, of the projected 66 million registered voters for the May 9, 2022 national elections will determine their result.
Only candidates with the looks and charm that can match the talent, youth and energy of these young ladies and gentlemen can captivate their votes.
It is from these age bracket of young voters who want candidates to address the culture of corruption that pervaded the last administration most especially those involving the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scams. Obviously they want to take the initiative to be involved with the country’s democratic processes.
Obviously, these young voters must have been tipped by their parents about these two items of corruption that has done the country much damage here and abroad and that the lawmakers and cabinet members who are involved in these anomalies of global dimensions are again running for public office.
What is being referred to is the DAP money, allegedly huge proceeds from the unaccounted more than 3,000 Special Allotment Release Orders (SARO) in the past regime, which is contained in a Commission on Audit (CoA) review which The Auditor keeps.
A House resolution sought an inquiry on the missing, fake and unregistered SARO.
The resolution disclosed “the 2011 CoA report on the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) questioning why P1.043 billion of DAP money had been allotted to projects not supported by Physical and Financial Work Plans… on the specific activities to be undertaken, target outputs and the corresponding budget allocations.”
The missing SARO remains an unresolved issue up to this date.
The CoA report stated that the “funds in question included allotments coursed through DBM and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for three projects: One for People’s Organization for P43.23 million, another for CSO (Civil Society Organizations,) etc. for P250 million, and still another for ARMM, etc. for P750 million,” which cannot be accounted for.
The same report disclosed that the “validity of 42,193 SARO issued to government agencies totaling One Trillion, Nine Hundred Forty-Two Billion, Two Hundred Eighty-Six Million, Three Hundred Fifty-Five Thousand, Seven Hundred Eighty-Eight Pesos and Thirty-Eight Centavos remained doubtful due to the gaps in the SARO number series resulting in 3,158 unaccounted SARO…”
What made matters worse for the previous administration was when no less than Budget Secretary Florencio Abad and Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala admitted that the SARO for at least P879 Million worth of farm-to-market roads (FMR) in Region II were “peddled” by some unscrupulous individuals bore bogus signatures reinforcing the widespread view that entrenched syndicates in the DBM then under Abad and possibly, the entire bureaucracy continued to make a mockery of the administration’s much vaunted ‘Daang Matuwid’ government reform system.
The chaotic DBM fund disbursement system and practices during the watch of the Aquino administration appeared to have been done intentionally to disable review.
It resulted in the misuse of hundreds of billions of pesos if not at least a trillion pesos in public funds allotted for critical government projects as well as the public shaming and indictment of innocent persons including past and present members of Congress.
In your hand lies the power to create a government that would truly serve the people. This power is manifested in your votes. As every Filipino’s right and duty, each vote should be used to elect candidates who can be trusted to be true public servants because for the Philippines to move forward, voters’ decision must match intentions and values.