With the country in the grip of a billion-peso controversy, Ruffa Gutierrez gave her opinion on the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel fund. During the launch of Metro Magazine’s September issue (which was shot in Florence, Italy) at the Prive Luxury Club where the towering actress graced the covers, she summed up without batting an eyelash what actually stirred the anger of the public about the pork barrel scam.
“Well you know it’s a very touchy subject, but I think everyone’s sentiments basically is that if we’re taxpayers, we want our money to go to the right places,” she began.
Since public officials are elected by the people to serve the public, Ruffa underscored that they should be able to perform their tasks duly at all times. “Take care of the people first before you take care of yourself. Make sure na kami, tayo, maayos tayo,” the 39-year-old actress said.
According to her, the P10 billion which were reportedly pocketed by certain public officials could have made a lot of difference in terms of improving the country. But if it were up to Ruffa, certain aspects of the country should come first and that is the airport. “Unang una pwede ba ayusin naman nila yung airport natin. Parang napakasimple lang naman. You don’t even have to be a politician, you can be in grade 1 and know that they have to fix our airports, fix the roads,” Ruffa opined.
The actress-host lamented how this particular controversy simply mirrors the injustice that the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the government’s tax-collecting arm, has been showing towards actors like her. “What hurts all of us the most is that the BIR always goes after the actors and actresses. They always make examples of us when we work so hard, we pay our dues. We pay extra VAT and yet they still come after us,” she explained. “I guess a lot of the sentiments of the people and more so of the artists is the same.”
Last Monday, August 26, a mass protest calling for the complete abolition of the pork barrel fund was organized at the Luneta Grandstand and even if Ruffa wasn’t there, she said that she shares the sentiment of the thousands that trooped there to denounce the mishandling of public funds. “So the Million People March is not more of putting anybody down. Everyone’s innocent unless proven guilty in court so we’re not putting anybody down, it’s just an outcry that things have to change in our system,” she ended.
Know more about Ruffa, her ideals about life and fashion, through the pages of Metro’s September issue, available nationwide at all leading bookstores and newsstands. Like Metro on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Metro.Magazine) and follow Metro on Twitter and Instagram (@MetroMagPH).