Wednesday, August 12, 2015

3, 000, 000, 000, 000.00+

2016 National Budget of the Philippines

So is the staggering number of zeros in the amount.  So is the mystery of where the amount will come from.  So is the question what the amount will be spent for.  This is to say nothing about the millions of Filipinos suffering from poverty and destitution.  This is without thinking about the many kinds of taxes every citizen of the Philippines is paying to the government from the womb to the tomb.  This is not to mention the customary, standard, unlimited and well-entrenched big graft and corrupt practices in the government.  Much less is anything here mentioned about the fact that such a huge national budget for 2016 neatly coincides  with the national 2016 elections synonymous with elections expenses unlimited – all electoral norms to the contrary notwithstanding.

Strange but true:  In 2010, the national budget was but one-half the amount  of the now well-conceived and ably designed amount  by the present administration for 2016.  If such an amount is really needed to promote and sustain the socio-economic growth and public welfare of the Country, then by the year 2022, the budget should be Phil. Pesos 6, 000, 000, 000, 000.00!  And by the year 2028, it should amount  to 12, 000, 000, 000, 000.00 – and so on.  The simple question however is how much money of the people called Public Funds is really spent for their common good, and how much of the same Public Funds is really spent for their common good, and how much of the same Public Funds actually goes to private pockets due to personal greed.

By the way, there is that one entry in the National Budget that is not only curious but also devious.  It goes by the title “Special Purpose Fund”  which is huge in amount, discretionary in nature and readily identified with the infamous “Pork Barrel Fund”.  It is this reality that instead of having co-equal branches of government, the well-standing fact is in the Philippines today, the Power of the Purse is well under the command of the Power of the Sword which in effect wants to place under its command even the Power of the Pen.  This is an open secret.  Would this phenomenon continue under the baton of a new administration come post 2016 election times?  This is an intriguing question to answer.

Much more interesting – dubious, suspicious, odious – is the so-called “Local Government Support Fund”.  To support what, who and how – all in the context of the 2016 National Elections?  It is anything but a secret that after all is said and done, agreed upon and paid for, what in fact and in truth really count are the votes coming from the local level all over the land.  The rule is when local public officials are well paid for in giving their political support, they deliver the goods – so to speak – to the national political candidates.  The immense amount of public funds handed over to the public officials in the local level in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao – this is what delivers most of the votes, that is what makes the big political difference.

The national budget for political interests, for private pockets, for dynastic objectives more concretely in terms of customary graft and standard corrupt practices – this is anything but a secret.