Pampitik lang ang Torre de Manila…marami pang dapat punahin at alalahanin sa Maynila

Pampitik lang ang Torre de Manila

…marami pang dapat punahin at alalahanin sa Maynila

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Ang isyu ng Torre de Manila ay isang ehemplo ng kawalang pakialam ng mga taong hindi gumagawa ng mga responsibilidad nila. Ipinapakita nila ang ugaling “reactive” o pag-aksyon lamang kung may nangyari nang pinsala, sa halip na umaksyon habang maaga pa upang maiwasan ang mga problema, na kung tawagin naman ay “preventive”.

Ang National Historical Institute ay ilang metro lang ang layo mula sa ginagawang Torre de Manila. Nasa tabi lamang ito ng National Library of the Philippines. Ang National Commission on Culture and the Arts ay nasa Intramuros lang na hindi kalayuan mula dito. Ang Manila City Hall ay ganoon din. Bulag ba ang mga taong inaasahan umaksiyon noon pa mang umabot na sa kwestiyonableng taas ang gusali kaya hindi pa man tapos ay nakita na ang epekto nito sa rebulto ni Rizal, kaya tinawag na “photo bummer”? Bingi ba sila upang hindi marinig ang mga nag-iingay nang mga taong nababahala? Hindi ba sila marunong magbasa upang hindi maintindihan ang mga balita sa mga diyaryo ang tungkol dito? Kung sasabihin nilang nakagapos ang mga kamay nila dahil sa mahihinang batas na nagpo-protekta sa mga bantayog o shrines, bakit hindi sila nagpanukala ng mga ito noon pa man?

Ngayon ay nagtuturuan sila kung sino ang may kasalanan. Napag-alaman din na miyembro pala ng Knights of Rizal ang mga “matitinik” na taga-Maynila tulad ng dating mayor na si Alfredo Lim at mismong nakaupong mayor na si Erap Estrada. Marami ang nagtataka kung bakit wala silang kibo. Ngayon pa lang ay may mga lumulutang na kuwento tungkol sa pagkasangkot ng ilang kagawad ng konseho ng Maynila, at kung sa anong bagay ay hindi na kailangang sabihin pa.

Dahil sa isyu ng Torre de Manila, naungkat tuloy ang mga kwestiyon din sa pagpa-privatize ng mga palengke, na siyempre ay bentahan ng mga public facilities na ito sa mga pribadong grupo. Bakit kailangang i-privatize ganoong pinagkikitaan din naman ng local government, at nasisiguro pa ang kapakanan ng mga nagtitinda dahil napapanatili ang upang kaya nila, kaya wala silang dahilan upang magtaas ng mga presyo? Kung ang maayos na pagmintina ang hinahabol, hindi ba ito kayang gawin ng City Hall?

Noon, nagkaroon ng pagtatangka ang Manila City Halol na ilabas sa Maynila ang Manila Zoo at gawing basketball stadium ang mababakante nitong espasyo. Mabuti na lang at naagapang hindi matuloy dahil marami ang nagreklamo. Hindi malayong ang tangka ay mauulit dahil nagkakaroon na ng lakas ng loob ang mga taong nagpupursige nito. Marami na kasi ang mga naipalusot na iba pang proyekto na kung tawagin sa Ingles ay “precedent”.

Ang hindi ginagawa ng gobyernong lokal sa tulong ng MMDA ay ang paglinis ng mga maliliit na ilog at estero na ngayon ay namumuwalan ng basura at water lily. Hihintayin na naman nilang magkabahaan bago magkumahog sa pagkilos. At, kasunod ng pagkukumahog ay, tulad ng inaasahan pa rin…ang pagturuan at pagsisi na naman sa mga kawawang residente na burara daw kaya kung saan saan lang nagtatapon ng basura, ganoong hindi naman hinahakot ang basurang maayos nilang tinatapos sa mga nakatalagang lugar.

The Naive Privatization Maniacs of the Government

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.