Fait Accompli-A A +A
At Close Range
Thursday, August 22, 2013
IT MAY be inarguable that damage has been done as huge funds were unscrupulously wasted in brazen and wanton misuse and the culprits of the caper apparently gone.
Fait accompli as the thing (the theft of public funds) has already been accomplished and presumably irreversible. Given the Filipinos' short memory and passive stance, the brouhaha will soon be relegated to the dustbin of history. But what about the people who own the money? No wonder some columnists now doubt the President's sincere advocacy of a corruption-free national government as the head of state seemed very reluctant to abolish the much hated pork barrel, sensing that his is also subject to public's abhorrence of it.
We have, for a short period of euphoria, basked on the high investment performance rate the government received from two international rating firms. The favorable ratings are not, let us consider, the be-all and end-all of governance. It is in seizing their momentum and sustaining them over a long period that the economic growth can be fostered and enjoyed.
Still, complacency is embedded in our psyche and culture. Looking back, have we really gained on our neighboring countries' performance?
Given the worse scenario barreled by the misused PDAF or the Priority Development Assistance Fund, can the struggling country and its cash-strapped residents expect priority in the development of projects and other concerns? Shame.
To add to our misery, Mother Nature has unleashed strong torrential rains and weather upheavals, causing loss of lives and property, crops and existing infrastructure. Again, several individuals rose to the challenge and with the prospect of loss of their own lives, bravely helped saved other people's lives and property. Others, including business entities contributed their share in helping others. One such firm is SM already known for its adherence to its corporate social responsibility in several areas of the country. During the onslaught of TS Maring, one of its top officials, Hans Sy, immediately issued a press statement offering his firm's assistance and the malls' spaces for possible refuge of the typhoon victims. VP Engr. Bien Mateo dutifully sent to media outlets that show of concern, thus: "As a public service, all the SM supermalls through skeletal forces, will remain open to serve our customers. The malls have served as temporary refuge to our friends in communities over the past typhoons. We are offering the same service again". See? The malls could have been closed due to the very bad weather conditions but no, in compassion, their officials opened the facilities just the same.
Of course, bida ang mga Disaster Risk Reduction Councils this past week. One such council is that of Mabalacat City where I saw first-hand the hands-on stewardship of General Services Office chief Jun Magbalot as he issued directives to his men on the field, from the Mayor's Office at Xevera and made sure concerns of the citizens were properly and adequately addressed and served in the absence of Mayor Boking who was then in an out-of-town conference. In attendance at the hastily called "disaster meeting and monitoring were Lapurisima P. Gomez, officer-in-charge of the City Social and Welfare Development, Engr. Rod de Leon, the City Building Official, Rosan Paquia, the City Administrator, Jinkee Santos, the head of the City Solid Waste Management Council, Elsie B. Angeles, the Executive Assistant and her staff. Meanwhile, the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council head Bernie Relles was out in the field monitoring high risk areas in the City. Who now says they were sleeping on the job?
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 23, 2013.