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Scary corruption! Cayetano boys’ grab of tourism stimulus fund reeks of ‘pork’ – Mareng Winnie

Former Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Solita “Mareng Winnie” Monsod does not see anything good coming from the move of Speaker Alan Cayetano and his allies to snatching the P10 billion stimulus fund away from stakeholders in the pandemic-ravaged tourism industry.

Monsod said giving cheap loans to help “small, and medium-sized, owner-operated enterprises all throughout the Philippines” them tide over during the pandemic would make her sleep better at night rather than see these P10 billion funds in the hands of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (Tieza) which is beholden to pork-starved politikos in Congress.

So how will P10 billion given to it help toward response and recovery? Unless of course, it is spent on projects that have the smell of PORK to them—corruption-laden. What is the track record of Tieza? We want the P10 billion in the pockets of millions of people, not in the pockets of a few. In one choice lies recovery and stimulus, in the other lies—well, nothing good for the economy, anyway.

“How will P10 billion given to it help toward response and recovery? Unless of course, it is spent on projects that have the smell of PORK to them—corruption-laden. What is the track record of Tieza?” asked Monsod in her Inquirer column.

“We want the P10 billion in the pockets of millions of people, not in the pockets of a few. In one choice lies recovery and stimulus, in the other lies—well, nothing good for the economy, anyway,” she added.

Monsod questioned the logic behind pouring massive funds into tourism infrastructure projects (to be identified by Cayetano and his allies) “when the destinations are no longer in operation, having had to close down.”

She also raised doubts on the absorptive capacity of TIEZA which last year had to surrender P10 billion of its P12 billion infrastructure funds because it could not start any infrastructure projects as scheduled.

“What scares me even more is that this is only one provision that we are talking about where the good of the country may be compromised, given the importance of tourism. What if there are others? Will Bayanihan 2 be even worse than Bayanihan 1? That will be the death knell for Philippine recovery,” said Monsod.

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