PAMPANGA

Pangan: A bigger scam

At Close Range

HONORABLE men and women were to be indicted in the Philhealth's scam involving billions of pesos better used to ensure public health but were allegedly pocketed by the "syndicate."

It is a very tempting situation, these huge funds placed at the discretion of a few. Even Philhealth board of directors may have participated in this very tempting privilege. I heard even sitting Senator Risa Hontiveros was dragged into the anomaly. Shucks. There are more personalities involved, reaching up to the level of the incumbent president, a retired military man, Gen. Ricardo Morales.

Funny, but every time people get indicted, they plead incurable illnesses, like Morales, who is allegedly very seriously ill and has yet to undergo chemotherapy. But still, he does not consider taking a prolonged leave to rest. He says he needs to go to work, as it is routine for him. Well...

Remember Mr. Duterte's penchant to appoint ex-military men to top level posts of government agencies. He says he trusts them fully as, according to him, ex-military men have the discipline and avowal to serve people sincerely well, how would the gullible president explain the current mess at Philhealth? Morales says confidently that he still enjoy the trust and confidence of the President.

There are too many financial scandals that rankle the government bureaucracy. What happened to the selection process? Why is it that misfits occupy sensitive position in government? Are they vetted thoroughly before being hired?

Recently, Philhealth President Ricardo Morales admitted that the fraudulent activities in the agency could not be resolved in one year because of their magnitude, meaning too many people are involved (read Mafia) and too large funds have been squandered.

***

Socialized housing at Mabalacat City. In coordination with the Department of Housing and Settlements and, by extension, the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board, Mabalacat City focuses on low-cost housing and relocation of informal settlers and the homeless citizens of the City in order for them to avoid using waterways and bridges as their shelters. The City aims to give them decent and humane community, complete with amenities.

It is about time to institutionalize anti-squatting, says Rosan S. Paquia, chief of staff and head of the City Planning and Development Office.

Overall, Mabalacat City aims to rationalize the city's housing and human settlement projects.


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