The Naïve Privatization Maniacs of the Government
By Apolinario Villalobos
Government officials who discern themselves as wise decision makers of the government, continue to push the Filipinos down the quagmire of disaster. They are naïve to the deleterious results after the operation of the basic commodities providers, such as those for water and electricity have been privatized. Add to that the deregularization of the oil industry.
Now, they want to privatize the operation of government hospitals. Hugging the limelight, lately is the issue on the privatization of the National Orthopedic Center, putting forward modernization of its operation as the primary reason. These government officials never had a single reason that fit any of their acts.When the oil industry was deregularized, they said, it is necessary to encourage competition, but what ensued was a conscienceless connivance of so-called players. When the operation of the electric power facility was privatized,the reason given was for them to improve and professionalize their services, but what happened is a tragedy of regular soaring of rates due to connivance again among the so many parties involved that the confused Filipino no longer recognize. When NAWASA was privatized, modernization as reason was cited, but todate, nothing has been done about this, yet. Pilferage due to illegal connection is still around and busted old connections take time to be repaired .
I am afraid that one morning I will wake up,a citizen of a “privatized republic”. Well, for abetter Philippines, these privatization maniacs might say, to have an “efficiently- run government”, it is better to let the country be operated by intelligent managers who can run any entity with clean policies. I hate to mention, in this regard, names of efficiently managing “economic powers” whose respective countries are with bursting seams due to financialoverload.
Some companies merge to ensure a better liquidity, so it is not surprising to find company signages with additional information. In Manila international airport terminals 2 and 3, one can find signages that say: PHILIPPINE AIRLINES operated by Airphil Express, Inc. Some banks have signages with additional line that say: subsidiary of ____________. For the sake of economic survival can this happen to countries at the edge of bankruptcy? I think this is happening now. There may be no signages involved, but indications are clear by way of conditions when loans are transacted. There is a discreet management effort once conditions are dictated. The Philippines is neck-deep in loans. The ability of the government to pay is being undermined by the systematic corruption that has cut an embarrassingly deep impression in the image of our country. Money that should be used to pay loans find their way to the pockets of corrupt government officials and politicians. At the rate this corruption is going, the country will see no end in its financial obligations to other countries and international lending agencies, and this sad situation comes with their dictations… that is how we are being managed by them… or “privatized”.
So again, because of deplorable financial situation of the government, with no money even for the purchase of high-tech facilities for hospitals , the “economic wizards” of the government turn to privatization as a last resort. As always, the poor Filipino, suffers at the end.