SOMETIME ago, I heard in passing, a radio program entitled “MKK”. But lately, it has caught my attention because large sized election posters have been bandied around the city about it.
So I looked into it to know whether the stories that are being dramatized in the program are for real and are anchored on sound moral basis.
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I found that the MKK radio program is built on “feel-sad, be grateful” stories lifted from indigent cases helped by government funds that passed through the hands of Congressman Monico Puentevella via his program Monico Kabuhi Ko (MKK).
Heart-rending stories are told to the public via a radio drama, which I am informed, is not cheap. Running the program for three years or so would cost a fortune, I was told.
Well, there’s nothing really wrong in broadcasting the MKK stories, as long as they are produced by independent broadcast journalists in the likes of Jessica Sojo or Korina Sanchez.
However, if the MKK radio program is produced and paid for by people very close to Puentevella and narrated by his wife, it loses much of its credibility.
One cannot help but think therefore that the MKK radio program was conceived and is being pursued, solely, as a cheap propaganda tool for tricky political purposes.
I find this practice indecent and unchristian.
The MKK program is financed by public funds, thus the one entrusted to handle them, in this case, Puentevella, should not deliberately crow about the help extended to target beneficiaries, by making poignant propaganda stories, out of the miseries of the poor beneficiaries.
To do so is unchristian.
In the Bible, Jesus censures the Pharisees about their being too showy of their almsgiving.
In the Bible, Jesus makes it a point to tell the poor people he helped not to broadcast to others the help they received from Him.
The indecency of the MKK radio program has gained greater notoriety when it became a tool in attacking the performance of Mayor Bing Leonardia, the nemesis of Puentevella.
Puentevella and his propagandists trumpeted that he was able to help some 50,000 indigent cases under his MKK program during his close to nine (9) years of service as congressman of Bacolod City, even though his annual pork barrel was only about P70 million a year.
Worse is that Puentevella and his cohorts added color to their propaganda spin by boldly saying that Mayor Bing has failed to provide social services to the hapless Bacolodnons despite the billions of pesos at his disposal.
To ascertain the truth regarding the efficacy of Puentevella’s MKK program in relation to the social services provided by the City Government to the city’s indigents, I culled statistics from the annual reports submitted by the heads of the Department of Health (DOH), the Department of Social Services and Development (DSSD), and the Public Employment Sevices Office (Peso) to Mayor Bing Leonardia.
From these statistics, I found that Puentevella and his cohorts have not “kept things in proportion.” They are striking a false note. And this blots their copy-book a lot.
The 50,000 cases of Puentevella’s MKK are but a minuscule compared to the statistics I culled from the report of the City’s DOH, DSSD and Peso.
From July 1, 2004 to June 30, 2009, a period of five years, the City’s DOH, DSSD and Peso provided the following services to the needy residents of Bacolod City:
· City Health welfare (cases) 999056
· DSSD welfare (cases) 351192
· Disaster assistance (persons) 41469
· Job placements (persons) 41380
(OFW placements, 11000+)
· Feeding of Insumix and Nutripan (persons) 33233
· Coop trainings (persons) 14568
· Coop financial help (cases) 3350
· Skills training (persons) 1422
· Scholars (persons) 1241
· Summer jobbers (persons) 4206
· Mass weddings (couples) 2807
· Housing relocation (families) 1361
So, there’s just simply no contest, right?
The City Government, under the able leadership of Mayor Bing Leonardia and Vice Mayor Thaddy Sayson, has just simply and quietly helped a lot of Bacolodnons, compared to the much ballyhooed MKK program.
I take my hats off to Mayor Bing and Vice Mayor Thaddy for not claiming proprietary ownership over the accomplishments of DOH, DSSD and Peso.
Oh well, it’s always better to be circumspect, more so if it’s not really your own money you’re using to help others.
In bragging, one takes certain risks.
And bragging about nothing surely leads to humiliation.
The bolder the bragging, the greater the humiliation.