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Oct 01st
Home Columns Unsolicited Advice Many Overseas-Filipino Disaster Donors Must Stop Being Suckers
Many Overseas-Filipino Disaster Donors Must Stop Being Suckers PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - Unsolicited Advice
Written by Bobby M. Reyes   
Wednesday, 14 October 2009 17:51

Part II of the Series,

Reinventing Overseas-Filipino Donations for Philippine-Disaster Victims


E very time there is a calamity in the Philippines, many Overseas-Filipino community organizations and even individual families dip into their pockets and donate sums of hard-earned moneys for the calamity victims. To illustrate: the Philippine Disaster Relief Organization (PeDRO), Inc., of Los Angeles, California, called a fundraising meeting on the first working day (Sept. 28, 2009) -- or just two days -- after the disaster that hit Metro Manila and surrounding provinces. The PeDRO meeting held at the Philippine Consulate General raised then and there approximately six-thousand ($6,000) dollars.


Other Overseas Filipinos do not donate to the PeDRO or any charitable foundation or non-governmental entity (NGO), as they have only enough surplus funds to give to their relatives (dependents) in the homeland.


But consider that each Filipino congressperson receives a pork-barrel allocation of Pesos One-hundred-million. (And there are a minimum of 250 of them, including the party-list members.) At the rate of P40/$1, the pork amounts to Two-million, five-hundred-thousand US dollars per member of the House of Representatives.


Editor’s Note: Each congressperson officially receives annually only Pesos: Seventy-million in pork barrel but Bobby Reyes rounded it off to one-hundred million, as he counted other perks for the legislator’s and his/her staff salaries, travel allowances, local-office rentals and other official expenses, etc.


Each Filipino senator receives per year a pork-barrel allocation of Pesos: Two-hundred-million (or Dollars: Five-million). This amount does not include other perks for staff salaries, travel allowances and other official expenses. (And while there are 24 senators, there are only 23 of them right now, as Sen. Alfredo Lim resigned when he was elected the Mayor of Manila in 2007.)


All in all, the Filipino taxpayers spend per annum Pesos 29.8-billion ($745-million) just for the pork-barrel expenditures of Filipino congresspersons and senators.


So, the PeDRO must raise $6,000 (per event) in four-hundred twenty (420) fundraising drives (assuming it generates that much per fundraiser) to equal the $2.5-million received in pork-barrel funds by a Filipino congressperson in one year. The legislator receives $7.5-million equivalent (in American greenback) for his or her 3-year tenure.


Or to equal the $745-million in Filipino pork, the PeDRO must hold 124,167 fundraisers per year (or 341 fundraising events per day), assuming that it raises $6,000 per fundraising event. Please check my computations and see if I got the figures right.


And the pork-barrel allowances of Filipino legislators are not subject to forensic audit by the Commission on Audit (COA), as we were made to understand by some COA employees.


Should we not demand now for the Philippine government to use first the pork barrel of the members of the Philippine Congress for disaster relief – before it asks donations from Overseas Filipinos? Unless of course, the Arroyo Dispensation and the other Filipino national leaders think that Overseas Filipinos are just suckers. For they believe that suckers are born every minute, to use a cliché, right? # # #


To read Part One of this series, as written by Hector Santos, please click on this link: Reinventing Overseas-Filipino Donations for Philippine-Disaster Victims


Caution: The views and opinions of Bobby Reyes do not reflect necessarily the views and opinions of Hector Santos and/or the other writers and staff of this website.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 March 2014 19:12
Comments (7)
1 Wednesday, 14 October 2009 22:40
Thank you, Bobby.

Kudos to you for continued excellence in journalism.

Keep up the good work.


2 Thursday, 15 October 2009 10:13
You never cease to amaze with your thought-provoking articles!
3 Thursday, 15 October 2009 10:20
From Susie Barbieri, quoting Bobby Reyes:

"Should we not demand now for the Philippine government to use first the pork barrel of the members of the Philippine Congress for disaster relief – before it asks donations from Overseas Filipinos? Unless of course, the Arroyo Dispensation and the other Filipino national leaders think that Overseas Filipinos are just suckers. For they believe that suckers are born every minute, to use a cliché, right? # # #"


Demand? Good luck!

Filipinos "demanding" from a government run like hell by fellow Filipinos are like Don Quixotes demanding windmills to bow down. And those who run the government like hell will always be around as long as there are suckers.

Speaking of suckers, has anyone heard of stories of Filipino associations in the United States vying for the “honor” of entertaining Philippine government people on official visits? If these stories are true these pandering hosts are feeding their image as suckers. Presumably the visitors have ample travel funds already paid for by Philippine taxpayers but they did not mind (unless they were out of their minds) being entertained by willing expatriate suckers. Will the visitors refund to the taxpayers what they saved through the courtesy of pandering expatriates?

You know the answer.

As for relief to typhoon victims I will not donate to organized groups distributing relief goods to the unfortunate typhoon victims. Before I get bricks and bats let me explain.

To begin with, my disposable funds are not substantial. So I have to leave it to those characters who love positive public-relations images even if their level of funds is as puny as mine, to supplement the donations of more affluent people. Organized relief agencies do need as much donations as possible.

True or not it has been said that a typical Filipino considers as many as 300 people to be close relatives. I may have a lot more relatives than just 300 but I may not have many that I consider as close. Still, I have enough uncles, aunts and cousins who live in the Philippines and who are as poor as the general population.

Here comes a devastating typhoon that hits my hometown where my aunts and uncles and cousins are among the unfortunate victims. I am likely to donate stuff DIRECTLY to them rather than let them suffer through long lines at relief agencies. Besides, relief agencies incur expenses and for every dollar donated a fair portion has to be set aside for such expenses to let them function properly.

In direct aid the recipients will receive aid intact.

If anyone is about to throw stones and bricks at me please put them down.

Fred Natividad
Livonia, Michigan
4 Friday, 16 October 2009 06:49
On Thu, Oct 15, 2009 at 11:30 AM, NELSON A PAGUYO wrote:

These two articles are MUST READ by OFCIans,


Here is Part II of the series of articles:

Many Overseas-Filipino Disaster Donors Must Stop Being Suckers


To read Part One of this series, as written by guest columnist, Hector Santos, please click on this hyperlink:

Reinventing Overseas-Filipino Donations for Philippine-Disaster Victims

5 Friday, 16 October 2009 06:51
After the big amounts other countries are sending, now the politicians are using those agences POLITICALLY, UNETHICALLY.

Philippine Red Cross - you will see him shedding tears, of course he is running for something, President?

ABS-CBN - Kris Aquino and his brother, who is running for President?

NAKARIRIMARIM!!!!! I am here in the Philippines. I see billboards all over the country , every single one of them have a smiling face of a governor, mayor ,congressman, etc. Project of Mayor so and so - road constructions, project of Governor so and so with smiling faces. Those are not their money for crimminy sake, those money are people's money. Why do I see Gordon's face on Redcross billboards, Gloria on Tesda?

If Toto Causing, Anita Schon will be the President and Veep - what will go on the billboards will be: YOUR PESO IS BEING SPENT ON THIS ROAD CONSTRUCTION.' picture, the people of the Philippines.

ABS-CBN - I will get an endorser from the people especially from the disastered place.... YOUR DONATIONS ARE HELPING US. ..... not Kris Aquino and Noynoy Aquino.

When will the people learn to do the right thing? OK MY VP IS RISING!!!!!


P.S. Politicians and the photo-ops - for heavens sake, they have photographers with them.
6 Saturday, 17 October 2009 15:53
Great insight Bobby. Para bang talagang hopeless ang kalagayan doon. Kailan ka uuwi? You are needed in the homeland. Sorry I could not return your call when Ranie was there. I was like a top, whirling all over. And my cell fone was on Vibrate mood.
7 Tuesday, 20 October 2009 08:27
I am not even concerned about those dirty politicians. I am more concerned how the money being collected are dispensed with. Knowing how crooked the Filipinos - I can't even send something even of little value without it getting lost. They open the mail and take whatever is in it. - I fear that the money or goods sent go to the pockets of the people responsible for distributing the aid. They sell the goods and pocket the proceeds. I guess I'm being cynical but experience has taught me to be. I prefer sending the help to CBN for example or directly to the victim, if I know them. It's a shame.


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Quote of the Day

Benjamin Franklin said in 1817: In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. But never in his wildest dream did he realize that by 2010, death would be synonymous with taxes~Bobby M. Reyes