Monday, September 15, 2008

Let them eat condoms, 2

Auditors uncover fake signatures of farmers

By Jocelyn Uy
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:35:00 09/15/2008

MANILA, Philippines—Fake signatures on the list of beneficiaries were among the irregularities in last year’s P218.7-million expenditure of the Department of Agriculture for hybrid rice, certified seeds, farm inputs and fertilizers for farmers in four regions, according to the Commission on Audit.

The purchases were part of the GMA (Ginintuang Masaganang Ani) program intended for the “poorest, often neglected” sectors of the population—farmers and fisherfolk—to increase their harvest and boost competition in the global market.

“[T]he good intention of the GMA rice program to reduce poverty incidence and attain national food security is tainted with weaknesses and irregularities in its implementation, reducing the effectiveness of the program,” said a report released recently by the COA.

The GMA program also figured in another scam in which former Agriculture Undersecretary Jocelyn Bolante allegedly diverted P728 million in fertilizer funds to finance President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s campaign during the 2004 presidential election.
Now in as much as argumentum ad populum seems to be used as a pitch to justify the Reproductive health bill, we might as well determine what the “overwheming number of Filipinos” think about the massive corruption in the funds intended – as the above report says - for the “poorest, often neglected” sectors of the population—farmers and fisherfolk.

It goes like this: to solve poverty, rob the poor of the allocated funds already due to them, and ask for new allocation to subsidize contraceptives. Taxpayers money, mind you, all of them.

In other words, let them eat condoms.

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