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

  • AFP names new spokesperson
  • New group coddling Usman, says AFP
  • Reinforcement troops in Mamasapano given awards, spot promotion
  • Despite dip in crime incidence, cops mustn’t relax—PNP
  • Aquino faces treason complaint for Mamasapano attack, BBL
  • Sports

  • 50 Cent planning to bet $1.6-million on Mayweather against Pacquiao
  • Roach: Mayweather is boring
  • NU deflates La Salle, stays alive for UAAP women’s volleyball championship bid
  • Lady Eagles’ Tai Bundit gives advice to Blue Eagles’ coach Oliver Almadro
  • Ateneo draws first blood against NU in UAAP men’s volleyball finals
  • Lifestyle

  • DUNGAW resounds ‘Ikalawang Tunog ng Batingaw’
  • US lawyer proposes voting to execute gays
  • How to deal with a child’s picky eating
  • Never held a kitchen knife before? This cooking class is for you
  • There’s a first home for every budget
  • Entertainment

  • Christina Perri arrives in Manila for concert
  • Rising Stars Philippines: From phone to fame
  • Messages of grief, thanks pour out for Jam Sebastian
  • Jam Sebastian of Jamich dies
  • Kitchie Nadal dons P799 RTW gown in autumn-themed wedding
  • Business

  • Larossa’s first building completes top-off
  • Mark Zuckerberg cites mobile operators’ support to expand global Internet access
  • PSEi posts new high
  • SMIC posts record P28.4B net profit
  • US running out of room to store oil; price collapse next?
  • Technology

  • Photo of weasel on woodpecker’s back takes flight on social media
  • Globe first telco to adopt Huawei SingleSON solution
  • Tale of the tape: Congo men biggest; Nokor last on list
  • DOJ warns public: Protect personal online info, dodge ‘sextortionists’
  • SODA: State of digital address 2015
  • Opinion

  • Why I’m single
  • Tinderbox
  • CJH subleases should be respected
  • Parking and votes
  • Old-fashioned books
  • Global Nation

  • LOOK: ‘World’s worst airport’ Naia 1 gets facelift
  • Saudi Arabia health dep’t: 3 OFWs among new cases of Mers-CoV
  • US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in PH
  • Renewed effort in So. California to return ‘Bells of Balangiga’
  • Indonesia nearly ready to execute Filipina, 8 other foreign drug smugglers
  • PHOTOS AND VIDEOS

    • AFP chief Catapang in Sulu amid battle vs Abu Sayyaf

      Read More

    • JV Ejercito, Atienza ask SC to stop ‘heartless’ MRT, LRT fare increase

      Read More

    • Netanyahu and Obama spar over Iran nuclear deal

      Read More

    • Pot lovers light up as Washington legalizes marijuana

      Read More

    • In photos: Edsa, Wescom anniversary celebration on Kalayaan Islands

      Read More

    • APEC partylist representative in pork scam surrenders

      Read More

    • Marijuana legalization takes effect in Alaska

      Read More

    • Obama faces left-right opposition on trade, military force

      Read More

    • Are MILF members training with Abu Sayyaf rebels in Sulu?

      Read More

    • US surgeons separate 10-month-old conjoined twin girls

      Read More

    • Student marchers call for Aquino resignation

      Read More

    • #INQStory Cardinal Sin appeals to military to not use violence against people

      Read More

    • #INQStory Cardinal Sin calls on Filipinos to support Ramos and Enrile

      Read More

    • Antarctica: Mystery continent holds key to mankind’s future

      Read More

    • Some signs of tension emerge among Islamic State militants

      Read More