27 March 2009

Immoral Increase in Salaries

Photo courtesy of innow
While companies in economic zones in the country had to lay-off workers to remain afloat and operate viably, there are proposals not only to increase the number of congressmen but also to double the salaries of members of Congress.

According to Bukidnon Rep. Teofisto Guingona III, "There is a proposal to increase the salaries of senators and members of the House of Representatives from PhP 48,915 to PhP 91,000 a month." he said. The proposed salary increase is contained in Joint Resolution 24, which is awaiting approval from both chambers.

Whoever is the author of this Joint Resolution must really think about the comfort this proposal will bring to those who are losing their jobs and homes because of the economic slowdown. However, with the way many of these lawmakers are fattening their purses at the expense of taxpayers money, it is not anymore surprising to see another hallucinatory bullshit emanating from their incompetent mouths. Remember the other proposal to increase their number from 250 to 350?

Public funds are better serve by spending it in going after corrupt government officials and relatives of lawmakers who tried to sway public bidding for infrastructure projects in their favor. It just makes no sense at all why money should be allocated to fund the greedy, arrogant, insensitive, out-of-touch, patronizing economic nonsense which insults the intelligence of those out of work who ironically are more employable than they are.

This proposal is just another set of bollocks being proposed by the rich and the few to ensure their staying power in politics and conveniently put the burden to fund such measures on the shoulders of ordinary person in the street who’s in enough trouble already. And once again, nobody is highlighting and penalizing the REAL culprits - selfish lawmakers who almost got away with the proposal if it was not exposed this early.

Why not use the budget intended for this increase in salary to adjust the wages of public school teachers, soldiers and policemen before fattening their own pockets? Why are these lawmakers intent on punishing the majority of the working class for the greediness of the few? Do they really want to instigate the society to take a more violent action and bear down on their selfish behavior?

Fortunately, there are still few sensible lawmakers who are reportedly reluctant to endorse the measure because of the additional cost involved.

Aside from personal and staff salaries and expenses, lawmakers receive annual pork barrel allocations collectively amounting to more than PhP 20 billion. Also, the pork barrel dispenses PhP 200 million for each of the 24 senators and PhP 70 million for each of the 238 members of the House of Representatives.