The wrong we can right
CONRADO DE Quiros’ Aug. 16 column—“Still, what’s wrong with us?”—strikes at the heart of the un-integral and un-wholistic mindset of Filipinos especially among our so-called leaders, many of whom are Catholics.
He asked, in reference to the Cultural Center of the Philippines/Mideo Cruz-controversy: “Why can’t we be this incensed about corruption? …Why can’t we be as incensed about a patent harm the way we are about a dubious one? What the hell is wrong with us?”
Corruption, undeniably, is the biggest culprit and major cause of our nation’s poverty and hunger. Corruption kills. Why can’t we be as passionate, committed, one, active and mobilized on other issues that promote life, even a better life for all, as we are in condemning those that violate it such as the RH bill?
Eradicating corruption is a key solution to our economic woes. It will mean more funds for basic public services such as education, health, housing and public infrastructure. It will mean more taxes for government arising from a business climate that is conducive to more local and foreign investments, to business growth, to more jobs for everyone, resulting in the generation of more disposable income for a wider population base—all leading to higher and, it is hoped, more equitable economic growth.
It could mean government attaining the moral leverage needed to renegotiate and restructure debt payments with foreign creditors, thereby freeing some of the debt allocations in the national budget and enabling the state to channel this to fund more basic public services.
We wallow in the complexity of our nation’s problems but sadly fail in seeing the truth about their simplicity.
Fighting graft may be at the very top of P-Noy’s agenda but this cannot be done alone even by the President who would pursue a personal conviction to catch a smuggler or a corrupt official, past or present. Institutionalization is necessary, and this can be done only by tearing down structures that breed corruption and/or by introducing measures that discourage it, like:
1. Freedom of Information Act, which is in adherence to a constitutional ideal, pending in Congress for the past 11 years, and remains in limbo in Malacañang;
2. Prohibition of political dynasties, enshrined in the Constitution, awaiting congressional action since 1987;
3. Abolition of the pork barrel system;
4. Speedy administration of justice.
Unless we can translate all talks of reforms into actual legislation, we have not said anything.
The wrong we can right… if only we can be as incensed.
—NORMAN V. CABRERA,
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