Vultures-A A +A
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
MONEY, which could have been used to liberate our people from the shackle of poverty and hunger, has shamelessly been allegedly pocketed for self-aggrandizement by a cabal of vested interest.
Funds, by the billions or perhaps, even trillions of pesos, which could have been used to increase the productivity of the peasantry have instead incredibly increased the wealth of those in power, if the named legislators have indeed plundered their respective pork barrels at the expense of those whom they have sworn to serve – the poor and the vulnerable. Such gargantuan allocation could have gone a long way in making life better for our people in a country that has been consigned all these years in dire poverty while all other countries in Asia have left us behind.
Still, the stark realities of poverty prevail over the life of three out of four Filipinos living in the rural areas where malnutrition is rampant. Pity the increasing number of pupils going to dilapidated classrooms or without the benefit of books and educational materials.
Government health centers are without adequate medicine, much needed farm-to-market roads remains the culprit why our farmers are under the mercy of the local compradors, insufficient farming capital that ties-up the farmers to the oppressive usury system and the alarming ecological disasters hanging like “sword of Damocles” in a country that has lost its ecological integrity and security.
These are some of the problems which could have been addressed if only democracy has been used to advance the interest of the people and not a privileged few who could not moderate their greed.
Outrageous. Like vultures feeding upon the flesh of the poor who are prisoners of hunger and poverty all these years. Poverty dehumanizes as it strips a human person of her/his dignity. A Priority Development Assistance Program is that countervailing measure to bring back that dignity that could have been a beacon of light and hope amidst the darkness of poverty and despair.
If that sacred act of regaining back the lost dignity has been trampled upon, replaced by diabolic and horrible greed, then such dastardly act should be a subject of our freedom of speech to decry, or worthy of our freedom of spit upon their faces. Many I heard would opt for the second option as such outrageous misdeed oozes with nausea.
Student activists during those golden days of the “First Quarter Storm” in the 70’s had been condemning “bureaucratic capitalism” as one of the basic problems confronting Philippine Society. That indeed political power breeds economic power and vice versa; that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Well, these rhetorical statements might have been interpreted as very radical during those days but beyond the rhetoric lies some truism that been concretized by the Napoles scandal, leaving us some lessons to ponder.
First is the question on what is a government for? Isn’t it one to serve the people based on the dictum that reverberated during those days, “Let not a single drop of rain go out to the sea without serving the people.”
To make sure that “bureaucratic capitalism” will not just serve the privileged few, i.e., cartels, monopolies and conglomerates, then there must be people’s participation in all phases of national life. This is so because without people’s participation, all the outpourings of government assistance will be palliatives and cannot bring about development. People’s participation is the best guarantee of justice and sustainability.
But people’s participation can only be had if the people are conscienticized and to collectively advance their interest. Only then can we aptly say that indeed the Philippines is a Republican and Democratic State, and that, “sovereignty resides in the people and all government powers emanate from them.”
Prisoners of hunger and poverty, resources are for everyone. Let us harness our collective power through cooperativism to dismantle the structures and systems of social injustice and oppression that breed poverty. Instead, let us advance social and solidarity economy that uses money to enhance the well-being of the people and not to make more money for a few who have much too much.
Stand and claim your own destiny because the people united can never be defeated!
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 30, 2013.