Contract trickster

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By Godofredo M. Roperos

Politics also

Monday, December 23, 2013


CHRISTMAS should not be a time for anyone to play tricks on the goodwill of our fellow men, but it seems that there are those who are quite tough enough to take advantage of some opportunities.

I may be wrong in my interpretation from the talks of people about the plans and actions of other friends we may have in common who believe they can make use of opportunities that have arisen in our region, such as the need to help in the relief efforts for victims of the recent twin calamities.

Some friends have told me that it just cannot be helped that people cannot control their business sense even during difficult situations.

One pointed out to me that a common friend who operates a building construction business had contracts that had been negotiated long before the two sad calamities happened and the constructions begun before the earthquake or the typhoon occurred.

Recently, the construction appeared abandoned and unfinished. The reason given is that the contractor is helping out in the construction and rehabilitation efforts for the victims of super typhoon Yolanda. That sounds a good and magnanimous enough reason for the temporary abandonment of the contracted building construction.

However, one of our media friends said there seems to be a more compelling reason for continuing the construction in the meantime: our contractor has run out of money to continue the job.

Which means, so our friends opined, that super typhoon Yolanda has offered a convenient reason for stopping the construction (I hope temporarily, for the sake of the hapless home-owner whose house is suddenly left unfinished.

But the point is, what I heard from my friends seems to be not just the only one. Similar situations have also happened among other contractors who also run out of funds to continue the contract, while they wait for new contracts to get them needed funds.

It may not truly look bad and dishonest if abandoned contract will eventually be finished. What would be bad is if the contractor will really abscond with the money, and forget the contract.

What seems to be sad, in this case, is the obvious use of the effort to do a good deed for the victims of the calamities which were “utilized” by some as opportunity to make easy cash at the expense of the calamity victims. These cases, of course, may not be widespread, or even truly happening.

But the fact that this is being talked about, indicate a situation that may have already occurred. If it is, it would show the depravity of some our people who cannot stop themselves from availing of opportunities to make some money, no matter how disrespectful it would be to the humanity we represent.

May our celebration again of the advent of the child Jesus really help us change the course of our earthly lives.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 24, 2013.

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