Chopsuey, chop-chopped Pajero's and government projects-A A +A
By Dr. Bob Ocio
Isyo ug Servicio
Sunday, September 29, 2013
WHAT is the similarity and difference between chopsuey, chop-chopped SUVs at Subic and chop-chopped projects and medicine purchases in the government? What are the effects if we are serious enough in trying to make our choices for the budget of the family or the people that we serve in the government? Why are we so poor that we don’t even have medicines in our hospitals or our infrastructure projects are always wanting, or our people are so hungry and living in violently inhuman conditions in the country's slums?
Here is a tale of the chopsuey. If we will go to the Chinese store and buy some special chopsuey, probably the cost would be like P100. However, if we buy the cooked chopsuey ingredients individually such as shrimp, chicken, vegetables and the like, then, we might pay double. Such is also the attraction offered for reduced prices of combo meals in fast foods.
Then, if we buy a Pajero which is chop-chopped from Japan then, assembled at Subic, the cost could probably range between P350thousand to P450 thousand. However, if you buy the parts of that Pajero individually from the auto store and assemble it yourself, then probably double or triple your expense to over P1 million.
Such is also the case of government projects and purchase of medicines. When bidding is done transparently, honestly and openly for the cost of P5 million worth of medicines probably you will get a truckload of those medicines and serve more sick people needing help. However, if the mayor or governor will opt to chop-chop the purchase of the same worth of medicines, evade bidding and negotiate with favored suppliers, at below P50 thousand per purchase but still spend P5 million, then you will probably have a cart of medicines supply for a few people in a few days thereby enriching the who’s who in the government service.
Meanwhile too, if our mayor or governor will implement a P5Million or P480 thousand project for a park openly, honestly and transparently, then we can have a real nice park for less; as many bidders will definitely participate and compete for the art work. If the project proposal and program of works undergoes a public scrutiny via the city council or provincial board and some independent engineering professionals are allowed to participate in the deliberations, then the project will be well accepted at a very much less cost.
However, if the project implementation is only known to who knows who, and it is chop-chopped and implemented by phase or via piece meal but still incur the same cost, then, the government might have spent more for so much less the quality of work.
Somebody told me a story about a contractor who went to the office of former Senator Nene Pimentel to ask him a favor for the implementation of a certain public works project. The visitor would guarantee to him that only the two of them would know about the transaction. Pimentel would retort, "How could we be only two when there are three of us here?" The visitor would look around and saw nobody else, bewildered. Then, Pimentel would continue, "There is a God who is watching but whom we cannot see. Don’t you know that?" The visitor would leave in shame.
Our recent events reveal to people who would eventually be bothered by their conscience or who by force of circumstance would suddenly come out to testify for an anomaly such as in the case of NAPOLES et al.
Who would believe that Johnny Enrile for all his savvy and experience would disown his own chief of staff and who in return would later accuse him of betrayal? Who would think in the past that such a whistle blower will tell a whole nation names, figures and a chain of incidents implicating and putting into trial practically the whole institution of supposedly distinguished men and women in the government service?
We oftentimes do not realize or simply ignore that a Third Eye is always watching our darkest secrets. We cannot be true believers if we will not lift a hand in prayer and stay on the sidelines. We as a nation should learn to keep that faith and act to make that difference for the sake of our God, family and country. We are our neighbors’ keepers.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 29, 2013.