MONDAY morning and my newsfeed was filled with stories about the Binibining Pilipinas beauty pageant. The curiosity of me had me researching online about the candidates being mentioned.
As sideline to the pageant stories, was this honest answer made by a candidate named Sandra Lemonon. She was asked about her impression on the government's "Build Build Build" projects, and to the surprise of the many and herself, she answered in a way of saying that she was not prepared to give response on that question. In short, she did not know.
Of course, Filipino as we are, there were instances that ridiculed her ignorance, while some came out in her defense.
But when you look on this issue, it is actually a two-way street.
It should be a lesson to future pageant candidates that it is not enough to "study" trivial questions and its possible answers but also understanding the socio-political issues, and even the movements of the government. This will further substantiate the "brain" of these beauties.
This is also a wake-up call for the government that despite its information dissemination efforts, a strata in the society from which Ms. Lemonon belongs may not still be aware of what the government has been doing all this time. And such ignorance may result to an unchecked government spending and dealings with foreign investors.
This is also partly a result of continuous political divide. It appears more political issues, albeit shallow or trivial in nature, beget more space and airtime in the media. And partly a result of the proliferation of fake news and lies being peddled in social media.
So what do we really know about Build Build Build? So far, it is one of the priority projects of this Duterte administration. Building infrastructure and roads in order to pave way for economic improvement.
That is why the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) Law was implemented in order to collect more taxes from the public and fund for Build Build Build projects.
And as of late, the Philippines and Japan signed last week the 104.53 billion yen loan agreement for the construction of the first phase of the Metro Manila Subway Project, which aims to ease traffic congestion, meet fast-rising transportation demand, and reduce air pollution in the country’s premier urban center.
Also, the Department of Transportation and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines today led the inauguration and soft opening of the expanded and rehabilitated Passenger Terminal Building at the Tuguegarao Airport.
And it was also reported that the Duterte administration is looking at advances in digital technology as part of reforms it will put in place to surpass the country’s record-high foreign direct investment inflows in 2017 and maintain its newfound status as the world’s best investment destination, according to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III.
Dominguez also adds that Build Build Build likely to benefit more Mindanao towns and cities, at least as reported in the website, build.gov.ph.
While we are hopeful that these progress will be materialized sooner, we should also not forget our responsibilities in nation building, that includes exposing and calling out what is wrong and illegal. Because we cannot really enjoy progress if these were founded on corruption and unethical implementation. It will destroy us back instead.