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

  • Senate ‎resumes Makati Building 2 probe sans Mayor Binay
  • SC stops all projects in watershed
  • Amid evacuee hardship, babies give joy
  • Rains in Visayas, Mindanao Thursday due to lingering intertropical convergence zone
  • MRT-3 operations disrupted anew due to broken rails
  • Sports

  • NU makes UAAP history, beats Ateneo, to face FEU in finals
  • Caluag ends PH gold drought
  • Focus, strategy key cycling triumph
  • Gilas settles for record low 7th place
  • Thompson lifts Altas past Blazers
  • Lifestyle

  • She prefers her ‘adobo’ dry, herbed, marinated in red wine vinegar
  • Idiosyncratic, refined Chinese fusion–but purists beware
  • Seafood glass noodle salad
  • How Lita Urbina grew Café Laguna from a 5-table ‘carinderia’ to a restaurant chain in the South
  • Crunchy papaya salad, three-sauce pork belly, melt-in-the-mouth squid–this is no ‘fusion-confusion’
  • Entertainment

  • In the mood for Lav
  • PH film competes in Tokyo
  • Fil-Am jazz artists to hold fest for History Month
  • ‘Purok 7’ wins in Frankfurt
  • Perennial joiner wins at long last
  • Business

  • Preparing the banking industry for Asean integration
  • More women joining top management of PH firms
  • Typhoon-affected banks get reprieve
  • Taiwan insurer buys 20% of RCBC for P18B
  • PLDT beefing up fiber optic network capacity
  • Technology

  • Microsoft skips Windows 9 to stress advances
  • Netizens blast sexy model for using cop connection to beat traffic violation
  • Palace backs prepaid SIM registration
  • Man, wife behind ‘crush’ videos get life sentence
  • Turkey’s president dismisses new iPhone: ‘Same as the last’
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, October 2, 2014
  • We stand in Central
  • Questions
  • Political ferment in Hong Kong
  • Recto in a time of disenchantment
  • Global Nation

  • Greater Chicago Fil-Ams set lots of History Month events
  • Comcast to host XFINITY party in Union City, California
  • 2 Filipino crewmen injured in ship explosion off Portland, Oregon
  • Japan eases visa requirements for Filipinos
  • AFP operations eyed to rescue 2 seized Germans
  • PHOTOS AND VIDEOS

    • Canada identifies long lost British explorer ship

      Read More

    • US sharply criticizes new Israeli housing project

      Read More

    • Secret Service chief quits due to security lapses

      Read More

    • 10,000 pigeons in China undergo anal security check—reports

      Read More

    • Paintings from Marcos art collection seized in San Juan raid

      Read More

    • US Ebola patient is first diagnosed outside Africa

      Read More

    • White House intruder got far past front door

      Read More

    • Obama in the mood for Modi, hosts India’s PM for White House visit

      Read More

    • Defiant Hong Kong protesters refuse to budge

      Read More

    • Abad grilled in Senate over non-itemized budget allocation

      Read More

    • A peek into wealth of the Top 10’s richest

      Read More

    • Protesters spend peaceful night in Hong Kong

      Read More

    • Fire hits residential area in Manila—report

      Read More

    • 800 rounds of ammunition found in White House intruder’s car

      Read More

    • Obama efforts to oust Assad pushed to back burner

      Read More