Though how Progressive a Country is, there will always be
Poverty because of Corruption
By Apolinario Villalobos
Perfection should be ruled out in the reckoning of a progressive country, because there will always be poverty due to corruption somewhere in the system of governance. In other words, the glitter of progress cannot hide poverty. For ultra-progressive countries, the signs may be insignificant as they try to blend with the glamour of urbanity. But in other countries, especially, the third-world, the signs are very prevalent, so that there is always a massive effort to cover them up occasionally, literally, as it is done every time there are special occasions such as visits of foreign dignitaries. This practice is successful in the Philippines.
Practically, poverty is the shadow of progress, and literally, too, as where there are looming high-rise buildings that are pockmarks of progress, not far from them are slums or homeless citizens who huddle together under bridges and nooks. These are misguided citizens who flock to the cities after selling their homestead, that have been farmed for several generations, to deceitful land developers, at a measly price. These are the urban squatters willing to be relocated but found out that the promised “paradise” do not even have a deep well so they go back to their sidewalk “homes”. These are contractual workers who have no job securities as they earn only for five to six months, after which they leave their fate to luck while looking for another job.
How does corruption ever be involved in the sad fate of the exploited? Simply, by the government’s negligence in providing decent relocation sites with job opportunities and basic facilities to those uprooted from their city abodes for more than so many years; by its cuddling of the spurious contractualization perpetrated by greedy employers; by its failure to guide and protect the rights of farmers who sell their rice fields to subdivision developers at measly prices that are not even enough to sustain them for six months; by its failure to provide the citizens with the basic necessities as funds are allowed to be pocketed by corrupt officials; and practically by looking the other way despite the availability of laws against vote buying.
Third- world country leaders should stop using the word “progressive”, but instead they should use “surviving” to describe their respective economy. If a country’s economy cannot sustain, much less, provide a “comfortable life” to majority of its citizens, then it is still “ailing”…hence, expect poverty to be trailing behind, just a few steps away from the pretentious allegations!
The headlined statement of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) that it will not investigate the lifestyle of Gen. Allan Purisima, leaving such instead, to the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) and the Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG), smacks of gross favoritism, and devious unfairness, not expected of a supposedly remaining lone and trusted agency of the perceived immoral government that overflows with personas whose venal desire for the people’s money is bottomless. The hardworking Chief of the said agency seems to have been suddenly doused with cold water in her almost untiring quest to corner tax evaders, most of whom are corrupt officials with their ill-gotten wealth. Was there an instruction given to her? From who?
It is a public knowledge that the Secretary of the DILG has greatly lost his credibility and so with the NAPOLCOM, what with police scalawags who still report to duties despite their conviction for cases that range from “hulidap”, “kotong”, absenteeism, as well as, the thick pile of other cases that are crying for attention. Now, she wants the two agencies with questionable repute to check on a colleague, not just smeared, but covered with a thick muck of dishonesty.
The BIR has the temerity to supposedly run after tax evaders…unfortunately, hardworking individuals whose faults are dots compared to the disgusting dishonest declarations of big corporations. The agency is opposing the exemption of the Christmas bonus of lowly employees from the regular tax deduction, despite its being their only consolation at the end of the year for teeny-weeny luxury to celebrate the season. And, its shallow reason is that, the exemption will “greatly” affect the revenue collection. Revenue that goes to the pockets of corrupt officials and politicians? The agency Chief’s lack of sympathy to the plight of the downtrodden Filipinos is just unthinkable. And, now with the loud and popular clamor for the investigation of General Purisima, with a twinkling glint in her eyes and matching smile, she declares a “hands off”…..
With her inhuman indifference, she added her own link to the chain that is continuously strangling the Filipinos who are now, pitifully chocking to death…