MANOLO'S column today dwelt on a revolt in the making that, by poetic justice, will redeem the people's initiative provision in the Constitution and achieve three objectives:
- the scrapping of the pork barrel;
- the recomputation of the internal revenue allotment for provinces; and
- the incorporation of the pork barrel into the internal revenue allotment.
would make it the policy of the State to limit the work of Congress to enacting legislation (and, I presume, to its equally essential work of oversight and investigation). It would prohibit representatives and senators from implementing and following-up projects. The law would provide for a line item budget; and it would punish local officials who violate the law.Given the above, let me propose another specific prohibition for consideration under that proposed law: putting an end to the silent practice allowing congressmen to practically appoint public school teachers to new permanent items that are being funded annually in the national budget. The Congressional Planning and Budget Department's analysis of the 2007 budget shows a provision for 10,000 new teacher items this year.
I don't know if the DepEd abets it in exchange for getting more money from Congress. But this anomaly, where division superintendents defer to a list emanating from powerful congressmen in appointing teachers, came up during the annual Synergeia retreat I attended. The Iloilo mayors were particularly vocal about this demoralizing practice, complaining that unqualified applicants -- backed by the congressman -- usually end up getting the available items, to the consternation of more experienced and better suited ones. This, in spite of a DepEd order governing the recruitment and selection process.
Expect the ranks of disgruntled teacher applicants and local execs incensed by this congressional intrusion to throw their full support to the proposed law if ever it gets included as another important provision.