Editorial: Capitol misses the point-A A +A
Monday, October 14, 2013
PROVINCIAL Government officials either didn’t get the point of the flak they received for the planned New York City trip of 10 Provincial Board (PB) members or they are just pretending not to.
The proponent of the supposed drug rehabilitation program study tour, PB Member Grecilda Sanchez, continued to use nobility of purpose to defend the trip. She was quoted by another local paper as saying to critics: “I’m appealing to them to let us and allow us to do our job.”
Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, in a television interview yesterday, talked about the need for a drug rehabilitation program.
But the point of the critics is the profligacy and not the nobility of purpose. New York City is not Manila, it’s not even Hong Kong. The cost of travel and one week accommodation, plus the seminar fee of $1,500 per participant, would be too big for a “cash-strapped” Capitol.
And considering previous experiences with study tours, there is no assurance that what would be learned by the PB members would be valuable enough to be able to compensate for the cost of the trip.
Besides, Daytop Village, the agency that Daytop International will be using as drug rehabilitation model for the PB members to emulate, filed for bankruptcy last year as a result of “extreme financial pressure” partly because of the decrease in the number of its patients from 1,100 in 2006 to 700 last year.
Both Daytop’s financial problems and the decline in the number of patients it is serving should have already rung alarm bells at the Capitol.
Finally, the Daytop method is not the only existing way to rehabilitate a drug addict.
Can Capitol be sure that it is the best method? Shouldn’t it have looked for other and probably better models?
The latest report is that the trip may be cancelled because some PB members who would have joined the trip are backing out. Daytop International reportedly requires at least 15 participants for the study tour.
Still, that is the wrong reason for the cancellation of the trip. What critics only want is for Provincial Government officials to admit that they were wrong on the matter of spending--and that the trip was cancelled because they do not want to waste public funds.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 15, 2013.