Making quick cash-A A +A
Friday, January 28, 2011
ONE of the things President Noynoy Aquino will find difficult to overcome despite his official admonitions and warnings is some people’s impulse to make quick cash when the opportunity presents itself. An example is the report about his conditional cash transfer (CCT) program.
The beneficiaries of CCT are supposedly the country’s poor. But hardly has the program taken off than tales of the funds misuse surfaced. The opposition in Congress said it received reports that some beneficiaries are not exactly indigents. Coming from opposition sources, the report should however be treated with suspicion.
While the minority bloc thinks that the program is a “noble” one, it also fears this will be used as tool for partisan politics and a source of corruption. With a P21.9 billion budget this year designed to spread manna to the nation’s indigent, the CCT is much too enticing.
With such a huge budget, the CCT program is an open source of hot cash for those directly involved in its implementation. It comes as refined sugar to the ants, and will be difficult to protect from the assault of the corrupt. I think P-Noy will find himself spending more and more of his time policing the ranks so his people won’t be corrupted.
But that is only as far as the President’s multi-billion-peso program for the poor is concerned. There is also the matter of the government owned and controlled corporations (GOCC) whose top officials are getting so much from their corporate honoraria as members of various boards of private corporations where the GOCCs have invested in.
Sen. Franklin Drilon has filed a bill in the Senate that prohibits GOCC officials from investing in firms they themselves head.
He revealed that in the Social Security System, its officials made millions of pesos through stock options. Drilon’s reasoning is that GOCC officials performing the role of trustees should not share in the profits or benefits made from the investments.
What these indicate is that the campaign against corruption is going to be a hit-and-miss situation, what with the yen for hot cash appearing too overwhelming to humanly contain when an opportunity to satisfy it presents itself.
Poor P-Noy. When the chips are down, he may have to brace himself for the worst and accept that his presidency cannot even be a medium-scale success.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 28, 2011.