Monday, February 02, 2009

talking about public works

DPW and construction, constructors and bidding, collusion and corruption – not to mention special patronage sought from and given by individuals related to powerful public officials – are some of the talking points of recent Senate and House inquiries people watch and listen to with some interests but without much surprise. Reason: Courtesy of the present administration, corruption has become the flagship expertise of this Country. It is then unbelievable as a matter of fact, if anyone with a sound mind and some knowledge of Philippine realities would even dare say that the many and expensive local public works funded by the Filipinos or foreigners are altogether planned with integrity and done with honesty.

In other words, pervasive and enormous corruption has already become ingrained in national and local public works. In effect, construction and collusion and corruption are three realities in the Country which are practically synonymous in meaning and consequence. Hence: There are roads as expensive as if they were paved with gold, not to mention much funded roads that remain unfinished, that go nowhere or are simply invisible as infamous “ghost projects”. The same goes with costly bridges big or small, long or short that prove silly in design or/ weak in structure. Blessed are those who do not know this. Theirs are a peaceful existence, a restful life, a blissful ignorance!

In conjunction with corrupt standard practices in the world of public construction specially those done in Northern Luzon, would that the following information furnished by a much disgusted constructor, were but a myth. Assuming that the total construction cost of a given project is Philippine Pesos 100 million, thus are its apportionments usually done – reeking with graft and corrupt practices: 40 million for the politico and friends.10 million for the DPW officials concerned . 3 million license plus 7 million tax. 2 million for the NPA. 7 million bidding expenses. 3 million miscellaneous expenses. 10 million contractor’s profit. 18 million construction proper expenses in terms of materials and labor. Thus it is that only 18 million pesos out of 100 million are spent for a given public construction for materials and labor.

If the above revolting phenomenon in the Country is bad enough, what is worst is that the same repulsive triad of construction-collusion-corruption is foreseen to merrily remain in principle and practice as long as the present administration is in tenure of the governance of the Philippines. This is logical. How could a chief-administrator pronounced as most corrupt possibly eradicate corruption in government? Truth to tell, even before the so called “global crisis” came to fore, poverty, hunger and misery are already realities in the Country. Reason: A government that is corrupt “from top to bottom”.

Standard and standing corruption in public construction? What’s new?

+OVCruz, DD
February 2, 2009