Originally posted by choi_tan2000
spread the words but.. iwas sa trouble ha .. just share our ideas about this polititians and hope that more people will vote wisely
OK yan! dapat ganyan nga gawin natin.
eto contribution ko. dito natin malalaman why our politicians invest millions in politics than spending their millions that would create jobs for millions of jobs less filipinos.
Why do they all want to be senator?
By PATRICIA ESTEVES
The Philippine Star
For a job that pays only P35,000 a month, you need about P150 million, by conservative estimates, to campaign for a Senate seat.
Yet celebrities as well as neophyte and seasoned politicians alike are battling for the 12 Senate seats up for grabs in May.
A senator’s monthly take — the Senate president’s P5,000 more than his colleagues’ — doesn’t cover allowances, travel expenses, salaries for staff, purchase of supplies and other maintenance and operating expenses (MOOE).
For 2006, the Senate received P1.336 billion from the 2005 reenacted budget. A total of P526 million has been allocated for the MOOEs of each senator.
At least P54 million of the total went to traveling expenses, P15.236 million to communication expenses, P600,000 to repairs and maintenance, P27.780 million to transportation and delivery expenses, P123.229 million to rent of satellite offices, P18.564 million to utility expenses, P18.564 million to training and scholarship expenses, P14 million to confidential and intelligence and extraordinary and miscellaneous expenses.
A Commission on Audit (COA) report in 2005 put at close to P300 million the total expenses incurred by senators. The expenses were for local and foreign travels, salaries and benefits, rentals, professional and consultancy fees, among others.
A committee chairman is also entitled to a separate salary and the committee he chairs has its own budget.
Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. estimates that a Senate committee chairman gets P100,000 in extra allowance.
Based on the 2005 reenacted budget, the congressional commission on agricultural modernization received P21.149 million; the committee on labor and employment, P23.179 million; committee on E- commerce, P1 million; committee on ecological solid waste management, P4.250; joint oversight committee on the Clean Air Act, P4.250 million.
Each senator also gets P200 million in priority development assistance fund or simply, "pork barrel."
Rich man’s game
For re-electionist senator Vicente "Tito" Sotto III and first time politician Sonia Malasarte Roco, running for the Senate is still a rich man’s game.
Sotto and Roco pegged the cost of campaign at P150 million.
Sotto said political ads don’t come cheap and could cost around P60 million. A 30-second commercial, for instance, costs about P1.5 million to 2.5 million.
"At least you need about P100 million. The maximum allowed by COMELEC (Commission on Elections) is P3 per voter. For me, I think I’ll spend about P100 million," Sotto told The STAR.
Campaign funds usually go to media advertisements, research consultancy, public relations, surveys, political rallies including entertainment, transportation, and campaign materials.
Sotto said he decided to run because he wanted to update the laws that he helped craft: the creation of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1992.
"It needs updating, it’s been five years since it was passed and I think it needs updating. I feel that I have some unfinished business," Sotto said of his anti-drug measure.
He added he also wants to initiate the creation of more women and child crisis centers in the country. A few years back, Sotto set up a pilot woman and child crisis center in Cebu.
" We saw that it was successful, the crime rate committed against children and women has gone done. With that we can craft a law that will institutionalize women and crisis center all over the country," Sotto said.
Mrs. Roco, widow of former senator Raul Roco, on the other hand, said she doesn’t have P150 million to shell out for the elections and she’ll make do with whatever she has.
She said there were many good candidates but they couldn’t get into the game because they lacked the resources.
"It is still pera (money) politics. The bottomline is, who’s got the money to pay," Roco said.
"The deterrent is not lack of qualification but lack of money. There are good leaders who want to run but they can’t afford," she said.
"Why would the elections cost so much when it is a simple process. You give the people the list of candidates and their qualifications and you let the people choose." Service in mind
For Pimentel, it’s not power and wealth but "vast opportunities for nationwide services" that drive one to aspire for a Senate seat. He said this is the reason why even some billionaires want to run for the Senate.
"A senator has to consider not only the parochial concerns of his region but the welfare of the entire nation. The challenges are limitless," Pimentel said.
"A senator is responding to national issues," he added, "unlike a congressman whose concerns are more or less focused on his/her congressional district."
He said free access to communications is one of the favorite perks enjoyed by senators.
"You have access to free communications like postal service etc… and then you can also have a bigger staff than what is made available to a congressman," Pimentel said.
He also cited the senators’ work-related travel privileges. "We have travel perks. Senators need to meet their constituency requirements all over the land and attend international meetings. I always go to IPU (International Parliamentary Union) meetings with my staff. We spend for the allocation of travel," Pimentel said.
He said pork barrel allocations help the senators fund their various projects, although the release of the funds depends on executive approval.
"We have a CDF (countrywide development fund) only in theory because the release of our CDF is still subject to the whims and caprices of the executive," he said.
"The money is with the executive department, which is quite often selectively releasing the CDF and so it is not fair to make a blanket assertion that we receive this amount of CDF," he said.
The monetary perks go with other privileges like immunity from arrest, while Congress is in session, for crimes punishable with imprisonment of less than six years. It’s a privilege enshrined in the Constitution.
"A long-tradition of law-making body that is practiced all over the world, (is) immunity from arrest. But the immunity applies only to a certain degree of offenses, to shield the lawmaker from harassment by political opponents," Pimentel said.