Why Congress needs a diet

Teddy Casiño

My sources in the House tell me that there is a sense of demoralization in Congress right now due to the impending abolition of the congressional pork (a.k.a. Priority Development Assistance Fund). Congressmen are afraid that without their traditional source of political largesse, they will be disempowered and will not be able to pay their debts, both political and financial, to their constituents and supporters. In other words, without the pork, they might lose in the next elections.

It is not only the ordinary members of the House who are worried. House leaders are also apprehensive that without their traditional carrot and stick, Malacañang and the House leadership will not be able to muster the necessary quorum and number of votes needed to approve its pet bills or defeat measures it does not want.

Such fears are not unfounded. The pork barrel system is so ingrained in the dynamics of…

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