Wednesday, March 11, 2009

porkulous national budget

A Philippine pesos 1.415- trillion 2009 national budget! Impressive but also dubious. Enormous and likewise suspicious – considering the miserable and shameful track record of the present government in getting, handling and disposing public funds. The Country must be ultra-prosperous to rationalize such an enormous amount of public assets. The truth is that most Filipinos do not even know how to count such an amount, much less know where it will come – and lesser still how much of it will be spent for public welfare and how much more thereof will be disposed for personal gains plus partisan political interests.

This is the sad case when those in tenure of high and select public offices are during these times ipso facto also highly suspect in honesty and integrity. One bad news after another, one too many disgusting expose in the course of time, too numerous corrupt and corrupting practices specially in the executive branch of government – all these cannot but affirm the perception that public trusts and confidence are certainly not attributes that the general public would readily repose on their political leaders. And as rightly said, public perception is already living reality in the socio-political community.

The word “pork” is not only taboo in the world of health and wellness but also a curse in the handling and disposal of public funds. As known and understood by practically everybody specially in this Country, the reality called “pork” simply means money, so much money from the general public demanded and taken by the government usually in form of direct and indirect taxes supposedly for the public good – but a big amount of which instead actually going to the pockets of government officials and their families. If pork is said to be unhealthy for people, “pork” in the circle of public officials is a big curse to the Country concerned.

Thus it is that a “Porkulous National Budget” is a huge disaster to a poor and hungry Country like the Philippines. And this is exactly how the 2009 Philippine National Budget appears. This has even no direct reference to the Phil. 50 million peso “Stimulus Plan” for Congress. It is enough to take note of the very generous but also infamous “Intelligence Fund” earmarked for this and that government agency. This has special relevance to that particular and generous one set aside for Malacanang. It is so convenient – and appalling at the same time – for those in command of such funds that these are immune to public audit or accounting. How “porkulous” are these so called Intelligence Funds!

One can simply wonder when this Country will ever have public officials with right and just claim to public trust instead of meriting the downright profound and pervasive public distrust. In fact, the distrust becomes more in degree and certainty with reference to the highest public official in the land. In other words, as known and denounced even by those in the halls of government itself, the most “porkulous” Office is that identified with Malacanang. How morally sick and ethically sickening!

+OVCruz, DD
March 11, 2009