Several weeks back in February, The Manila Times’ columnists had lunch with the Vice President. While we were waiting, a tour of the infamous Coconut Palace was made.
Skyway Stage 3 began yesterday. It also ushered in the rehabilitation of EDSA, north and south, which is said to end by 2016. The 14.8-kilometer Skyway Stage 3 project aims to connect SLEX to NLEX from Buendia to Balintawak and aims to decongest EDSA, C-5 and other major thoroughfares in Metro Manila. It also aims to reduce travel time from Buendia to Balintawak from two hours to 20 minutes or less. Its estimated cost: P26.5 billion.
How long would it take before government acts to prevent breakdown on basic services? How long will it take for people to seek redress of their collective grievances? How long would the People Surge that began in Samar-Tacloban last week hit the metropolis? It appears that in the last two minutes we just might be in an official meltdown. Why? Allow me to count the ways.
As we entered the weekend, social media was buzzing about a Filipino by the name of Michael Christian Martinez, born November 4, 1996, that makes him 17 years old. Michael is a Filipino figure skater. By Sunday, netizens were getting mad because of the sad tale told by the mother of Michael on the lack of support by the Aquino administration for his son's training. Truly sad!
In urban dictionary, the word bunked means to skip something, such as an event, school, or work. That was what I thought of the news on the overpriced, substandard bunkhouses built by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). Nothing new there especially then the secretary, together with the DSWD Secretary and BSA3 themselves visited the area and saw the 126 bunkhouses build in December of last year. They didn’t notice anything wrong. It was through a leak to the media that we got wind of the anomalous construction.
Three years and then some, we have accepted that substandard is the norm in public service. From the bunkhouses to the “burned out” Cabinet, to the critics making a living from being critical to the need to rest. When it used to be the best and the brightest served government, today, we have barkada lording it over technocrats simply because proximity to power is the virtue some people in this administration requires.
When there is no closure yet on the so-called faked Special Allotment Release Orders (SAROs), the Php879 Million farm-to-market roads with bogus signatures and PDAF releases from 2010 to 2013 have not been fully reviewed by Commission on Audit (COA) and the Department of Justice cherry picking on whom to persecute, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is at it again, sweeping the dirt under the rug.
These days one would not be surprised with so many alphabet soup of funds being invented and used wantonly for political ends. One can conclude PH is a rich country pretending to be poor or PH is a poor country with its leaders always raking in money for their political future.
The wrath of Yolanda has showed to us how government can fail us during the most critical hours when we needed to feel its presence. It is even worst after its aftermath. Sad, truly sad because every peso we contribute to taxes whether in the form of withholding, value added or expanded value added taxes are pesos we worked hard for.