Caroline Howard for ANC wrote:
One of the principles underlining Aquino III’s “reform budget” “is transparency and accountability to make government productive.” Clearly, the paltry allocation for the judiciary makes this objective a sham. More than this, the system of allotments governing the proposed budget betrays a particular bias and a retreat from the commitments made by the President especially his centerpiece anti-corruption program.
As noted by the economic think tank Ibon Foundation, Aquino III’s “reform budget” is extravagant with patronage funds and is vulnerable to corruption. Going against public clamor, the President not only maintained but also increased the PDAF by several folds. PDAF – or pork barrel – guarantees congressional alignment to the presidency in exchange for annual “development funds” much of which ends up in corruption.
However, it is precisely pork barrel and other perks provided by the chief executive that has undercut Congress’ independence and its role as a check-and-balance vis-à-vis the President. By maintaining and increasing the pork barrel, Aquino III in effect has given corruption a tacit endorsement. Governance by political patronage makes the Aquino presidency no different from Macapagal-Arroyo. The higher the expectation of the chief executive is from the dominant traditional legislators to support his legislative and political agenda the bigger the pork barrel must then be allocated.