Amid corruption worry, Aquino to reform govt fund
MANILA (AP) - Philippine President Benigno Aquino III promised on Friday to reform a corruption-plagued system that allows lawmakers to allocate government funds for projects in their district after an audit found that millions of dollars were misused.
The government audit said last week that US$141 million (S$180 million) allocated over a three-year period was released to questionable aid groups and ghost projects identified by lawmakers as beneficiaries.
The scandal centred on a powerful businesswoman who allegedly collaborated with lawmakers in channeling some of the funds and went into hiding after she was charged with illegal detention of a whistle-blower.
Critics say the system promotes corruption, with citizens' and pressure groups calling for a protest rally on Monday to demand that Mr Aquino abolish the practice.