‘Sno-faking’ PH poverty with billboards | Inquirer Opinion

‘Sno-faking’ PH poverty with billboards

/ 01:58 AM May 15, 2012

I was not surprised at all that the government  built a fence of colorful billboards, essentially promoting tourism, on the bridge along the highway that runs from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to the Philippine International Convention Center, where the Asian Development Bank held the 45th annual meeting of its board of directors. Indeed, public officials have always been famous—nay, notorious—for hiding anything that others may consider an eyesore.

That is precisely what the present Aquino administration has since been doing, if with a slight exception. I mean, unlike his predecessors, President Benigno Aquino III is never content with simply allowing and hiding with impunity acts of corruption, big or small, that continue unabated under his watch. He also tends to shout his voice hoarse, denouncing everything that was not worthwhile under the previous regime.  The pot calling the kettle black, so to speak!

The paramount mission of the ADB is to wipe out poverty across the globe. It is downright ironic, nevertheless, that by blocking from the ADB view the families in our slums, the government hides the barest semblance of poverty in these parts. So doing, it also unduly tends to deprive these families of their very right to make the whole world see that they are being neglected.


Chances are, many other poor Asian countries have been doing the same thing every time ADB representatives visit them. Isn’t pride, or hypocrisy, one of the seven deadly sins of man? It is no wonder, then, that not a few democratic societies elsewhere keep saying that the ADB has in fact been globalizing, rather than minimizing, the scourge of poverty in our times. But that is not necessarily the point I wish to raise here.


My point is, Aquino’s lapdogs have quite clearly exhibited the self-same hypocrisy by vigorously defending the government’s most recent attempt at hiding Philippine poverty. Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang was quick to explain that any country will do a little fixing-up before a guest arrives; while Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chair Francis Tolentino said nothing is wrong with beautifying our surroundings. Fine! But to them I must retort: There’s always something wrong behind a “sno-fake.”


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TAGS: ADB, corruption, Poverty, President Benigno Aquino III, Unemployment

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