Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Calamity funds perpetuate calamities in our country

Yesterday, Makati mayor Jun-Jun Binay was interviewed. He was conducting a check on the condition of people stranded along Buendia avenue. He was at the very corner of South super highway and Buendia. Before, only knee-deep waters. Now, that place is now waist-deep, inspite of the fact that the Makati government undertook sewerage and road repairs along dela rosa street, which is parallel to Buendia and every year, that street is submerged in waist-deep waters.

Before every election, road and sewerage repairs were undertaken in those areas supposedly to ease the level of flood waters there. And every single year, the same situation occurs. I ask myself why?

Well, two things: first, do you know that billions of pesos are allocated for the calamity fund and these funds do not go thru DBM? An LGU that declares itself under a state of calamity can immediately seize these funds and use it without COA intervention? Yes, even calamity funds are now a source of corruption!

Check on the allocated calamity funds of your LGU and you'll find that every year, this fund is being disbursed. This explains why every time it rains, several people pray for more rain and more people and communities submerged in floods because they will eventually get their pockets full of calamity funds.

There is more---the government has just allocated billions for the climate change funds. A portion of this can be used by LGUs.

Instead of implementing long-term solutions to floods, LGUs will continue to implement patchwork solutions because these greedy officials earn millions from the calamity of their constituents.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency or JICA has a plan to solve the flood problem in the Metro, but this plan is being ignored. Not because the government does not have money. The problem really is the lack of political will. Imagine, if Metro Mayors finally approve a plan that would mitigate flooding in the Metro, what would be the purpose of those calamity funds then?