'Genuine NGOs may suffer fallout from pork barrel scam'
MANILA, Philippines - Legitimate non-governmental organizations (NGOs) may suffer fallout from the pork barrel scam, according to Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) president and CEO Hans Sicat.
He said the issues arising from the probe into alleged misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) are "very alarming."
"We share the same concern as other groups on corruption and misuse of public funds. The issues arising from the current discussions and investigations on the pork barrel scam are very alarming particularly as we are all working hard to sustain the growth of our economy," he said in a statement.
"What is worrisome and perhaps not highlighted amidst all these is that unwittingly, genuine NGOs that have been helping many of our less fortunate Filipinos and those who have been pushing for legitimate causes are adversely being affected by the spurious and bad ones," he said.
The PSE is currently evaluating a program that "will raise the awareness on the work and programs of legitimate NGOs to help gather more support for their causes if not redound to a replication of their programs and activities."
An option being considered is a recognition program for outstanding NGOs, with the aim of attracting private sector support for their activities.
"Various companies have undertaken very good activities under their Corporate Social Responsibility programs and we hope we can tap them to support a program that will help create new channels for CSR. We think we should generate support and awareness so these can be sustained and replicated," Sicat said.
On Monday, the Department of Justice filed plunder and malversation complaints against 8 current and former lawmakers including Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Ramon Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada in connection with the P10 billion pork barrel scam.
Whistle-blowers have accused businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles of setting up fake NGOs to act as conduits of pork barrel funds since 2002. Under the scheme, 50% of the pork barrel funds allocated to the Napoles-linked NGOs went back to the lawmakers.