VP Duterte’s Performance Rating Drops Big, Speaker Romualdez Climbs In Latest OCTA Research Survey

VP Inday Sara Duterte’s survey numbers are headed for a steep nose dive in the OCTA Research 2023 Performance Ratings of Top Government Officials.

Duterte lost 12 percentage points from her July 2023 rating of 82 percent, leaving her at 70 percent. The biggest drop in her ratings came from Visayas, a drop of 16 percent points from 90 percent in July to 74 and Balance Luzon, fell by 12 percentage points from 84 percent in July to 72 percent. Her ratings also fell by 9 percent in Mindanao, from 96 percent in July to 87.

House Speaker Martin Romualdez gained six percentage points, climbing from 55 percent in July to 61 percent. His biggest increase of 22 percentage points came from Balance Luzon, climbing from 39 percent in July to 61 percent. His rating in Mindanao fell 12 percent from 67 percent in July to 55 and likewise, in Visayas he lost 10 percentage points, moving down from 80 down to 70 percent.

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If I were to speculate just based on the numbers published by various websites and newspapers, I’d say this is still more evidence resulting from her botched power grab attempt and the controversy surrounding her over half a billion peso proposed confidential/intelligence funds.

Between the failed power grab and the confidential funds controversy, I’d say it was the latter that caused most people to give her a lower performance rating.

It didn’t help, either, that news of her multi billion confidential and intelligence fund spending while she was Davao City mayor made the rounds.

Word is that Duterte had spent a previously granted P125 million of confidential funds to set up 16 satellite offices which is apart the six OVP satellite offices. These secret or rather not so secret satellite offices, says our source, would form the hub of her political operations throughout the country.

No wonder it took just 11 days for her to spend P125 million pesos!

All that money went into either the construction or lease of not so secret political lairs and lined the pockets of political operators who would presumably build up VP Sara’s political machinery.

It is in this way that confidential funds, which are supposed to be used to support intelligence work against terrorists and criminals, appears to have been used as pork barrel funds.

Pork barrel funds, also known as earmarks, refer to the allocation of government funds for specific projects or programs that serve the interests of a particular legislator’s constituency.

While the intention behind pork barrel spending may be to address local needs and promote economic development, it is widely regarded as a practice that fosters corruption, undermines fiscal responsibility, and perpetuates inequality.

Firstly, the discretionary nature of pork barrel funds allows politicians to direct resources towards their own districts, often without proper scrutiny or oversight. This creates an environment ripe for favoritism and cronyism, as politicians may prioritize projects that benefit their own political careers rather than those that genuinely serve the public interest.

Secondly, the use of pork barrel funds can lead to wasteful spending and inefficient resource allocation. Projects funded through pork barrel appropriations are often driven by political considerations rather than objective criteria, resulting in a lack of cost-benefit analysis and proper evaluation. This can result in the funding of unnecessary or low-priority projects, diverting resources away from more pressing needs such as education, healthcare, or infrastructure. Moreover, the lack of transparency and accountability surrounding pork barrel spending makes it difficult to track the effectiveness and impact of these funds, further exacerbating the potential for misuse and waste.

The practice of using pork barrel funds is plagued by inherent problems that undermine the principles of good governance and public trust. The potential for corruption and favoritism, coupled with the wasteful allocation of resources, make it imperative for governments to reevaluate and reform this system. By promoting transparency, accountability, and evidence-based decision-making, policymakers can ensure that public funds are utilized in a manner that truly benefits the broader society and advances the common good.

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