Friday, July 16, 2010

PORK BARREL? PORK CHOP? PORK?

This is but a simple and candid question. This is merely a plain and timely query. The government is not only flat broke but also in dire need because the public coffer is not merely empty of cash but also full of debts – courtesy of the previous administration. There are too many government officials and much more government employees to pay salaries to and give reasonable perks too. The annual income and budget specially in the past six years, is depressing to know how they have been “balanced” in terms of local and foreign barrowings, real huge debits and supposedly consoling reality in form of big “deferred payments”

The needed funding for education is much less than actually needed. Hence, more children no longer good to school. The requirements of developing agriculture are beyond reasonable response. Wherefore, the matter of importing rice has become not only mandatory but also customary.As the cost of consumer goods become higher, not only are the salaries relatively low, but many do not even find any employment. Direct and indirect taxes are already too much. Yet public welfare has become less and less.

One cannot but wonder how the new administration will respond – and respond well – to the big national economic predicament. Would the BIR manage do its job well? Could the Bureau of Custom respond to its task according? Would there be less dishonesty and more integrity in the DPWH? Could COA be less suspect and more trusted? Would the other many agencies of government be much better in saving rather than in spending? Could all the members of the Cabinet act as one in helping the President redeem the Country from its socio-political liability and economic disaster? Would the people then have reason to hope for a better future?

And one more thing which has already been a long standing issue for its identification with corruption than development, more with political accommodation than reality call – not to mention political ambition for personal gain: The infamous “Pork Barrel”. Lately, there seem to be a move to reduce its enormous amount such that it then becomes “Pork Chop”. But “Pork” it still remains.

Question: Would it be too much to ask the Ladies and Gentlemen concerned do away with both the “Pork Barrel” or “Pork Chop” even if only for the meantime – when the government is bankrupt and the Country is broke? And would it not be but just and proper that any “Pork” at all be instead credited directly for government expenses in favor of improving education, developing agriculture, helping industry? Is this too much to ask? Is this unreasonable to expect? Just asking!

OVCRUZ,JCD
16 JULY 2010