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 © 2015,

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

  • Missing Binay aide still on Makati gov’t payroll
  • Pork anomaly dubbed ‘Ridapoles’ exposed in Bulacan
  • Senator Pimentel backs Meloto to take Binay post as housing czar
  • Duterte: I’m not running, but if I were the president…
  • 300 who sold mine lands lose P40M
  • Sports

  • Beermen gun for 2-0 lead over Painters
  • Akhuetie shines Bright with 44, lifts Altas past Blazers
  • Checkmate Saturday-only clinic starts today
  • Ho, Cruz headline PSL beach tilt
  • Huey-Lipsky tandem bows out in second round
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Bituing Walang Ningning’: Please connect the dots
  • International and local talents partner up in ‘Saturday Night Fever’
  • How Conrad Ricamora became Lun Tha
  • Theater Calendar
  • Cancer diagnosis to spike by 70 percent in 20 years
  • Entertainment

  • Piolo and Sarah’s ‘Breakup’ drama is as real as it gets
  • Allen Dizon–from bold to best
  • Breaking Benjamin finds clarity in sobriety
  • New career moves and stellar grooves
  • Evangelizing, fundraising events light up Eucharistic Congress
  • Business

  • Will something so high come down soon?
  • Wilcon Depot providing high-grade supplies for Filipinos
  • Riomonte in Nuvali evokes sense of living in tropical parkland
  • Builders, buyers to enjoy benefits of sustainable practices
  • PH shielded from Greek default effects
  • Technology

  • Top 3 iOS apps for the summer
  • Telco donates mobile digital lab to Kindergarten schools
  • DOST-PTV deal seeks to boost gov’t’s free Wi-Fi project
  • AP Exclusive: China Ministry posted bootleg ‘Liar’s Poker’
  • 26 million Facebook users go rainbow for gay marriage ruling
  • Opinion

  • Editorial Cartoon, July 4, 2015
  • Showdown in The Hague
  • Unmasking ‘Robin Hood’
  • A neutral foreign policy will not work
  • Facts and theories
  • Global Nation

  • Carnegie Corp. honors 2 Fil-Ams for contributions as immigrants
  • Fil-Am gets 90 days for stealing women’s undies
  • A modest proposal for state-sponsored euthanasia
  • PH’s gaya-gaya democracy? Not when it comes to gay marriage
  • PAL passenger dies mid-flight
  • PHOTOS AND VIDEOS

    • 7 Cebu fishermen missing, 7 vessels cancel trips

      Read More

    • Capsized ferry death toll rises to 39

      Read More

    • Storm signal no.1 up in Isabela, Cagayan due to ‘Egay’

      Read More

    • Europe heatwave: Ice cream for primates, blackouts for humans

      Read More

    • Ghost schools a window into future of China’s one-child policy

      Read More

    • Cat stationmaster Tama mourned in Japan, elevated as goddess

      Read More

    • Body of missing bank teller found in shallow grave in Angeles

      Read More

    • 60 pizza-makers create nearly mile-long ‘pie’ in Milan

      Read More

    • PNP destroys P100 M worth of counterfeit goods

      Read More

    • UNA picks ex-broadcaster as new spokesman

      Read More

    • Journalists hit solons for ‘bullying’ reporter in bribe story

      Read More

    • Hundreds flee homes after Mt. Kinabalu floods

      Read More

    • MILF fighters for decommissioning arrive in Maguindanao

      Read More

    • Ancient Syrian Christian town dedicates new Virgin Mary statue

      Read More

    • Pope tells Putin: ‘Sincere’ peace efforts needed for Ukraine

      Read More