Alternatives to the pork barrel system
By Herbert Docena
October 31, 2013
Although the government has yet to heed our demands, the anti-pork movement has already scored a major victory: It has freed our imagination and empowered us to ask, what can replace the pork barrel system?
That may sound like a hollow win, but as sociologists have emphasized, one of the most underrated achievements of social movements is their ability to shake up taken-for-granted beliefs, to challenge the “naturalness” of the existing order.
Thanks to the organizing work of such networks as Kilusang KonTRAPOrk, Abolish Pork Movement, and the broad Scrap Pork Network, few today believe the claim—repeated by the President the other night—that there is no other way to provide social services and public goods but for politicians to dispense them almost any way they please to anyone who pleases them.
The movement has punctured one of power’s cherished claims: that there is no alternative. That victory clinched, the struggle to spell out and put in place a different system escalates.
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