Monday, August 16, 2010

“DAMNED IF YOU DO. DAMNED IF YOU DON’T”

Without the least intention of being offensive much less of expressing irreverence, the above quoted axiom is simply meant to emphatically drive home the truth about the present huge financial predicament of the present administration – in terms of inheriting a national vault that is empty of assets and full of liabilities. As already well noted and exposed, the previous administration with visionary plans and glorious aspirations, proved to be an expert in spending public funds while piling on personal wealth. Conclusion: The incumbent administration is at a lost how to raise government funds – even if only to keep the Country standing and the people surviving.

If someone is flat broke, what does he do? Brood and do nothing? Finger point and blame everybody else? Wallow in despair and jump out of the window? Or: Think of the doable. Have a plan of action. Act on what is proper, right and just? The national leadership with the assistance of sincere and competent Cabinet members is “counting the ways” on how to gather public funds, how to fill the government coffers – how to make “both ends meet” in terms of government earnings and expenditures. This is an expression of social justice, specifically in terms of the people giving to their government what is hereto due, and of same government giving back to the people in return what is required by their common good and public welfare.

Concrete examples and alternatives being already decided or still being considered by the P-Noy government to raise public funds: top in its agenda is the stoppage of graft and corrupt practices that prove to be the biggest cost in public spending. Then comes the plugging of many big expensive holes in the MWSS, in the BIR, in the DPWH, in the Bureau of Customs, plus certain notorious government corporations. Thereafter comes to order the no-nonsense prosecution of infamous thieving individuals and families, and consequent retrieval of their stolen wealth in favor of the government. But all these purgative acts are not only expected but even demanded by the people in general.

One thorny and wherefore delicate move being considered by the government to raise public funds generally comes in three form: One, cutting government spending in terms of giving subsidies and the like. Two, imposing new or raising old taxes. Three, raising the service charges of public utilities like the LRT and MRT. The over-all reaction of the general public towards such government fund raising option is negative, to say the least. Reasons: They are already poor. Their incomes have not gone up. Living is already expensive. Meantime: What would government do in order to raise the needed public funds to finance likewise need public agenda? This is the big predicament of the present administration.

This is precisely why: “Damned if you do. Damned if you don’t “.

OVCRUZ, JCD
16 AUGUST 2010