TACLOBAN CITY – The people’s initiative petition against pork barrel system kicked off in Eastern Visayas on August 25, hoping to get the support of at least 20% of the region’s voting population. Various groups launched the signature drive through a caravan around the city, participated by 60 people representing different sectors. “The purpose of launching is to inform the public about the signature campaign against pork barrel. We also started the decentralization of the signature drive to six provinces and 12 legislative districts,” said Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) Eastern Visayas acting secretary general Rey Miranda. The signature drive kicked off at the city’s public market and nearby coastal villages.

Next month, various groups – businessmen, Yolanda survivors, youth, workers, farmers, women, among others, will participate in a congress in Tacloban City to assess the progress of signature drive and solicit more support, according to Miranda. The group is seeking the support of six million to demand the removal of all discretionary lump sum funds within or outside of the annual national budget. “The target of 3% of the population for every legislative district is very realistic because different sectors support this initiative. In fact, parishes and Catholic-owned schools have opened its doors for those who want to sign the petition,” Miranda added. (SARWELL MENIANO)