Monday, March 8, 2010

I don't know whether to scream or cry

I just saw a video prepared by the Ateneo School of Government about its many projects. It was a public relations tool, but never mind about that. What hit me hard—very hard—was a segment of the video showing one of their faculty during a lecture. He said that it is estimated that 30% of the annual Philippine national budget is lost to corruption.

Right now, that's 300 billion pesos!!!

The agricultural and infrastructure damage of typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng combined was 15 billion, a measly 5% of the money that ended up in the pockets of our corrupt politicians.

In the meantime:

  • 30% of Filipinos live below the poverty line.
  • We are experiencing rotating brownouts now because our power generating capability is too low. So low that when one power plant gives up, we're incapacitated.
  • An average of 20 typhoons enter the Philippines every year. Yet we are never prepared for the damages that they cause.
  • Every three years or so, we experience the El Niño phenomenon, but again, we are never prepared for its effects. The water in Luzon's dams have already reached critical levels and summer has just begun.
  • It's impossible to make an actual count, but a study which gathered data from charity organizations and the Department of Social Welfare and Development estimates that there are more than 100,000 street homeless in Metro Manila alone. And I don't think that figure includes those who live in makeshift shanties all over the metro.
I can go on forever with a list of problems that 300 billion pesos annually can alleviate or solve outright.

Suddenly, I am inarticulate. I do not have enough strong swear words to say how I feel about this government.

Gloria Arroyo unexplained wealth cartoon from


lunarossa said...

I'm ever so sorry. A great country like the Philippines shouldn't be on its knees because of corruption. I sympathize totally as my country is going down the drain as well because of the corruption of the government. Our only tools are our vote and eventually strike actions, but they don't work either anymore. Hugs. A.

Cezar and Léia said...

Dear Hilda, I have no words in this moment, it's really sad.I understand how you are feeling.
And this post is so important because all people need to know what are happening there.

Kat said...

It is VERY frustrating. There's so much to do and fix in this country. I pray that the next President will be able to lead this nation back to the right track and diminish, if not totally obliterate, corruption in government.

Thank you for visiting, too. Looking forward to your photos and posts :) Will be following this blog as well :)

KL said...

Hilda, sorry to read about this story but not surprised. Coming from India, I know what economic corruption can do to a country. Why India or Philippines? Same thing happens all over the world including USA - billions of dollars are unaccounted for. If all the corruption of the world can be eradicated, all the problems of the world will be solved overnight

Lily Hydrangea said...

so sad & I'm so sorry to hear this Hilda. Unfortunately greed is everywhere.
I often wonder why some people take what isn't theirs at the expense of those that are so much less fortunate. It's evil is what it is.

Gunn said...

That was a clear and strong message!!
I am sorry about the corruptions! and I have been a member of the teachers union for years, but at the end it,- it is down to politics I am afraid.

Louis la Vache said...

Greed and corruption seem always to accompany political power. In the U.S., Congressman Charles Rangel has been forced aside because of corruption. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, promised 'clean and ethical government' but presides over one of the most corrupt Congresses in the history of the U.S.

What is particularly appalling to «Louis» about your post is what that stolen money could do to help the many impoverished Filippinos.

Shelle said...

i find everything about politics not right. very sad about your country. i think so many people are going thru the same thing these days.

Manang Kim said...

Bigla ba naman nag boil ang dugo ko sa news na ito. Kaya dapat palitan na at sana ang mga tao they knew kung sino ang karapat-dapat na halalin di lang kung sino ang mas malaking datung in time sa election tapos mag complain. Thanks sa inpormasyon I do appreciate it. Happy weekend!

SWF~ Blue sky

Reader Wil said...

The problem is that almost all governments are corrupt. It's a shame that in this time of economical crisis we have to be careful spending money but our governments continue living in wealth.

nuts said...

how sad about the news! but this is not shocking anymore. thanks for sharing this!

tapirgal said...

It's brave and important for people like to you tell the truth about the situation. I don't know what can be done, but knowledge and awareness are always important. My Filipino ex-husband left Manilia because he couldn't stand the corruption in every area of the government. I guess it's important that some good people stay and speak out. I wish I knew what to say, except that it's always pathetic when the greedy take when they shouldn't and leave the poor to suffer more.

tony said...

In return to your comment on the butterfly. it looks much better than some of the women here. wildlife or not butterflies do get attacked mainly by the wind.unlike you ladies but poor wildlife have no bag to put make up in.

Highton-Ridley said...

Aaah, corruption is the greatest enemy of all - to be fought and exposed at every opportunity. It takes food from the mouths of the starving and holds back the education of the young that can be the stepping stone out of poverty.

Well done for doing your bit to expose it.