Sure na sure-A A +A
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
LET’S see if I've got this right. I can go and work at Davao's City Treasury Office, filch P8 million of unremitted taxes and get off scot free? City Administrator Melchor Quitain (And he should know) says that 'the most possible sanction against the eight (city Treasury employees who engaged in some creative accountancy) will be preventative suspension of up to six months'.
There's something seriously adrift here. Have a slanging match with the vice-mayor and you'll find yourself banged up in prison facing 'direct assault and attempted homicide' charges (Later revised to 'direct assault against a person in authority'); swindle the city out of P8 million of public money and it's six month's unpaid leave? No prosecution? No court case? No lynching from the nearest acacia? No name and shame? (Although if you take our preening senators and congressmen as a yardstick shame is a concept alien to Filipinos).
It's as if we encourage corruption - start now while you're at the humblest level of civil servant, it gets easier as you rise up the ladder. Look at how our senators and congressmen make off with billions of taxpayers’ money, cool as cucumbers. Yes lads, you have all the makings of becoming first class politicians - robbing the city blind and looks like you're going to get away with it.
Thursday last there was an interesting column from Arnold Alamon describing his (I suspect) embarrassment at the spectacle of villagers singing and dancing for tourists. He didn't say it but the words 'demeaning' and 'degrading' floated about in my imagination and it may come as a surprise to Arnold (And the tourist officials who organize these things) that most tourists feel the same way, that most tourists would rather not be entertained in such a fashion. Now and again there's a dancing troupe up at Davao's airport to welcome travelers and let's be honest - who gives them more than a sidelong glance? Is that all my bags?
Where's that porter going? Hell, it's raining. Where've the kids gone? I need a shower. And a drink. The last thing on anybody's mind exiting the arrival hall is a bunch of dancers leaping about and that applies just about everywhere including Arnold's example where a bunch of villagers aboard a raft ludicrously turned up to serenade tourists on a river cruise.
(Extended aside - my current pet peeve is the ongoing craze for fire dancing. Imagine; you're sitting on the beach at some expensive resort, sipping a cool drink, appreciating a sunset silhouette Mt. Apo against a riot of blue and greens and oranges when suddenly, out of the palms, prances some maniac waving a couple of flaming flower pots. What IS the point?)
I was amused the other day by a modest bit of newspaper breast-beating-how while the national Anti-Spitting Act (House Bill 299) waits for approval Davao has its own already. Snag is no-one takes any notice, it's another of Davao's for-show-only ordinances, unimplemented and unenforced. Stand by a kerbside. It won't be many minutes before a Juan or Maria dela Cruz comes up to lean out a little and dribble a ripe bundle of phlegm onto the road, the Maria's daintily pressing blouse necklines out of harm's way. Sure na sure.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 01, 2013.