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Whose fault is it?

05:01 AM June 06, 2018

So, Manila Bay has now become a huge, stinking toilet bowl badly in need of flushing. Who’s to blame?

“Who else but the informal settlers!” as almost everyone is now yelling. But, if one would only stop for a minute and analyze the whole shebang, we can all agree that, more than anything, it’s the government’s lack of foresight and adequate enforcement of the law that is to blame.

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Think, people. When the first of those illegal settlers started putting up shanties on those shores and shallow waters, why didn’t the government foresee that if they didn’t immediately enforce the law and do something, that one settler would soon multiply and turn the bay into what it is now today? Why didn’t the authorities step in from the start?

The reason is, the government has always been reactive rather than proactive. It procrastinates in getting rid of a possible problem until that problem becomes a reality almost beyond repair that now requires urgent and drastic action.

When the authorities finally see the problem and decide to do something, they use force to ensure the removal of the informal settlers.

Unfortunately, such actions often result in bloody, physical confrontations. We have repeatedly seen this ugly scenario in and around Metro Manila, simply because the government is either sleeping on the job or lacks the ability to take immediate action.

Another example is the traffic mess, which would not have become a nightmare if only the government had the foresight to prepare for population growth.

Adequate preparations could have been done to meet the increasing structural needs of a growing population.

Roads, public housing, public schools and hospitals, modern traffic systems, etc. are only a few examples of those needs.

But as usual, the government is either too dumb or too lax, so the public suffers from shortages or inadequacies in these structural necessities.

Is there an urgent lesson to be learned here? For a start, maybe we should be more careful when casting our vote next time. Don’t be taken in by a candidate’s wealth, fame or name.

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Look at a candidate’s moral compass and fitness for the job. Voting is our ball game. It could spell the difference between having a better life, or a worse one, in the long run.

JUANITO T. FUERTE, [email protected]

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TAGS: government inaction, Inquirer letters, Juanito T. Fuerte, Manila Bay, Public officials, Voting
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