Quantcast

Visayas solons won’t let go of pork barrel

By

JERRY TREÑAS

BACOLOD CITY—They want more projects and to keep their pork.

At least 29 congressmen, united by what they said was a common desire to bring more projects to the Visayas, formed what they call the Visayan Bloc on Wednesday to push for legislation that would advance the welfare of the Visayas.

Aside from that, however, the group is likely to stand united in defense of the controversial priority development assistance fund (PDAF), the new official term for pork barrel.

Iloilo Rep. Jerry Treñas, one of the leaders of the bloc, said while the congressmen support safeguards against abuses in the use of the pork barrel, they are not likely to support its abolition.

Treñas said the issue of pork barrel has not been officially discussed by the Visayan Bloc, but it is the general sentiment of members of the bloc to oppose proposals to abolish it.

“Our districts and constituents have benefited from (pork barrel),” said Treñas. He said pork is used for scholarships, hospitalization and infrastructure projects.

ALFREDO BENITEZ

Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez, another leader of the Visayan Bloc, said the group was formed to lobby for government agencies to allocate priority programs and resources for the Visayas.

“We want to be recognized as a legitimate and strong bloc in the House of Representatives,” said Benitez. He said the bloc would vote as one on “important pieces of legislation,” but not on “issues that require party decisions.”

He described the group as “nonpartisan.”

The bloc is composed of 25 legislators from the Visayas and four from other provinces.

The non-Visayan members of the bloc are Cesar Sarmiento of Catanduanes, Sonny Collantes of Batangas and Pedro Acharon of South Cotabato.

The bloc was formed during a luncheon meeting in Quezon City on Wednesday.

Treñas said the forming of the Visayan Bloc would fill the need for a strong voice to clamor for a fair share for the Visayas of government resources and programs.

He said the priority of the bloc is to push reforms and programs on tourism. “This is a very important area of concern,” said Treñas.

Benitez said the bloc would push for the establishment of a nautical highway connecting different islands in the Visayas.

Aside from Benitez and Treñas, members of the bloc from Western Visayas are Oscar Richard Garin of Iloilo, Arcadio Gorriceta and Arthur Defensor Jr. of Iloilo; Evelio Leonardia of Bacolod City; Leo Rafael Cueva, Alejandro Mirasol and Mercedes Alvarez of Negros Occidental; Joaquin Nava of Guimaras; Teodorico Haresco of Aklan; Antonio del Rosario of Capiz and Paolo Javier of Antique.

Members from Central Visayas are George Arnaiz and Pryde Henry Teves of Negros Oriental; Anne Marie Pernes of Siquijor; Rene Relampagos of Bohol and Cebu’s Wilfredo Caminero, Benhur Salimbangon, Ace Durano and Gabriel Quisumbing.

Two members from Eastern Visayas are Ben Evardone of Eastern Samar and Damian Mercado of Southern Leyte.

Two other members are party-list representatives—Sharon Garin of Aambis-Owa, sister of Rep. Garin of Iloilo; and Pablo Nava of Append, a distant relative of the Navas in Guimaras and former councilor of Dumangas town, Iloilo.

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

Copyright © 2014,

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate: c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94



News

  • ‘P500B lump sum in national budget best practice’
  • Luy testimony: Revilla got P224M ‘rebates’
  • Benguet execs lose trust in DA unit
  • NBI raids Iloilo warehouse, seizes 1,000 bags of rice
  • North Cotabato town allows tourists back to falls
  • Sports

  • Manny Pacquiao to retire from boxing in 2016
  • Cagayan rises above Ateneo in five sets
  • V-League: UP toughens up for thrilling win vs PNP
  • Stern sees Sterling saga ending well, lauds Silver
  • No. 1 Bulldogs feast on Falcons
  • Lifestyle

  • Heart Evangelista defends Nancy Binay from bashers
  • Book art: From textual to visual
  • Makati’s landmark Nielson Tower–RP’s first gateway to the world–now a haven of world cuisine
  • Atypical, surprising Huaiyang cuisine
  • Romulo Café’s ‘guinataang sigarilyas’ with ‘tinapa’
  • Entertainment

  • ‘A Cinemalaya film should still have a life after the fest’
  • Gretchen Barreto keeps mum on Julia
  • Gary Valenciano’s birthday show a family affair
  • No longer in hiding, TNT finds way home
  • Versatile Brit band serves up feast for both the eyes and ears
  • Business

  • Bangko Sentral raises key policy rates
  • Bidders sought for P4-B FTI transport hub project
  • Biz Buzz: SMC-Tan faceoff
  • Dual airport scheme for Luzon urged
  • Only 1 of 10 makes it to 3rd generation
  • Technology

  • Mommy D trends online amid reports she has a boyfriend
  • Britain to trial driverless cars from 2015
  • Japanese gov’t, publishers demand online ‘Manga’ pirates to shut down
  • Twitter flies on surprisingly strong numbers
  • China investigating Microsoft in monopoly case
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, August 1, 2014
  • Editorials
  • Stop cartels like Philip Morris
  • Backing down from confrontation
  • Valuing teachers
  • Global Nation

  • Foreigner found dead in Cavite tunnel
  • PH to rent ship for evacuation of Filipinos in strife-torn Libya
  • PH ranks with strife-torn Syria, Iraq in human development
  • DFA: Mandatory repatriation in Libya continues
  • Filipinos wary of NY City ID cards for the undocumented
  • PHOTOS AND VIDEOS

    • Luy shocks defense counsels with ‘kickback’ files

      Read More

    • No bad blood between Vice Ganda, Teddy Casiño

      Read More

    • Crop circle in Germany attracts many visitors

      Read More

    • Israeli shells hit UN school, officials outraged

      Read More

    • Hunger down in March but self-rated poverty up, says survey

      Read More

    • Sulu survivor talks of bloody ambush of women and children

      Read More

    • EU ready for Ebola threat

      Read More

    • Palace: No conflict in asking Congress to redefine savings

      Read More

    • Fears grow of Ebola spreading to Europe

      Read More

    • The P2.6T proposed budget: Where will it be spent?

      Read More

    • No more lump-sum amounts in P2.6T budget proposal, says Palace exec

      Read More

    • Palace not worried about restive MILF commanders

      Read More

    • Proposed P2.6T budget no longer under solons’ mercy – Abad

      Read More

    • Will the real road rage suspect step forward?

      Read More

    • Retired General Esperon sees no basis on coup plot

      Read More