Friday, April 11, 2008

republic of shortages

This country is now a land of big and shameful shortages. First, there were shortages of fertilizers, ballot boxes as well as votes. Then, there were shortages of commissions, “bukols” or “tongpats”. Now, there are shortages of rice, pigs and irrigation systems. Lately, there seem to be also shortages of lots for building foreign high-rise condo units in Subic, and shortages also of islands for sale in Spartley.

The present government also suffers from likewise many huge and disturbing shortages: shortages in honesty and integrity plus consequent shortages in credibility and acceptability. Meantime, the same government has been long ably generating surpluses in graft and corruption, surpluses in the increasing distrust and disgust of the people, plus surpluses in demanding taxes on one hand—while incurring more debts on the other. No wonder then that barely a day or two ago, the World Bank itself said that the cost of corruption in the Philippine amounts to some 30 billion pesos yearly. No wonder that recently, the country bagged the abominable crown of “Asia’s Most Corrupt”—and this is not in any way funny.

There is definitely no shortage in this government when it comes to the long litany of scandal ridden contracts and secret lucrative deals. Much less is there any shortage in the official secrecy law—called “Executive Privilege”—to cover-up even criminal abuse of public funds. But just the same, there is much shortages in transparency of the South Rail Project, in the accounting of the irrigation fund, in the disbursements of Quedancor. All these shortages cost the Filipinos multi-billion pesos with nothing much to have and to hold, to rejoice about and be proud of.

For all intents and purposes wherefore, this country can not be aptly called the “Republic of Shortages”. This may sound offensive and rude even—for which proper apology may be asked and readily given. But the title is mainly intended to describe the sad plight of the Filipino people. And it is hard to say that the above said shortages are all but partisan politics in cause and complete falsity in nature. Furthermore, there are also shortages in the resolve of doing away with drugs and robbery, murders and other criminal offenses. The truth is that there are still other shortages in the Philippines such as those in truth and justice, in peace and order, in the common good and public welfare. Finally, there are likewise shortages in socio-economic comfort at the present and hope in the future.

All the said shortages in the country have been so many in number and so long in standing that a good number of the people has grown accustomed to them. They wherefore live and behave as it such moral and financial liabilities were something normal, and would rather pay attention to survive their difficult day to day plight in having some pesos in their pockets. Some food on their tables. This indifference is most pleasing to the present administration. The truth however is that the longer this ruling administration stays power, the more and worse shortages Filipinos will surely experience in the country.

+OVCRUZ, DD
11 April 2008