Wielding the rod-A A +A
Thursday, September 19, 2013
WHEN I was a kid in knee pants, there was an old folk’s saying about imposing discipline on family members, especially the young ones.
My parents were both public school teachers, and they did not want to set an example to other parents in the poblacion and from the upland barrios. The favorite saying among the teachers in the school was about sparing the rod and spoiling the child.
But truth to tell, they were not the only ones who talked about the native motto when talking about their children or family members. Even women selling fish or fruits in the market quote this motto when talking about their husbands.
“Oy, sus, sa amo, gamiton ko gyod ang bunal kon si Meloy mopauli og tungang gabi, labi
na gyod og dili siya hubog,”
That may carry some sort of native humor if viewed from the distance of time like in our present social condition. Today, this bit of native wisdom still retains its hold on our collective psyche when we talk of our contemporary problem on the pork barrel.
In those days, the matter of consistently using the rod enabled our elders to whip into line children and adults, like husbands or wives who strayed from the accepted social path.
Our elders would wonder why Meloy would come home late, especially if he was not drunk. If he was, it would mean he was drinking with friends. If he was not, he must have done something more serious, like playing footsie with somebody else’s wife.
This also applies to the wife who came home late, especially when she was not playing tong-its or mahjong or drinking with her favorite neighbors and gossiping at the same time.
Our point here is to note better ways of pursuing more fruitful living. But the present push to abolish the infamous pork barrel may not really be a good cause to pursue since it would affect a wide swath of the contemporary social spectrum.
Note that in our democratic exercise of governance, people need to have funds to undertake projects for the greater number of our poor.
In standing behind the continuance of the pork barrel, I was persuaded by the long and tedious process of securing the funds to use for a project that is needed to alleviate the poverty of many of our people who do not know or who have less capability to avail of the power innate in the American mass power politics that innovated the use of pork barrel many decades ago.
I agree with the thousands who wish to do away with the pork barrel. But then, would our need for immediate cash to support a project be mollified? Won’t we be pushed to wait for months or years to be available under our present system?
Perhaps, it should be the process or the system that should be reformed and provided instead with air-tight safeguards against corruption. But really, the pork’s abolition is not a way to alleviate poverty.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 19, 2013.