Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Trust government

If you think about it, there is a rational explanation why government must proceed with its job under a state of natural calamity. The extent of damage to property and the loss of life due to the massive flooding caused by Typhoon Ondoy in the metropolis and the utter devastation caused by Typhoon Pepeng (Parma) in the North demand immediate relief and restoration. The damages wrought by these two typhoons are monumental in scale and would affect our lives on a long-term basis. Structural damages especially to agricultural centers and places of commerce put great emphasis on government to respond in a quick and timely manner.

What some sectors, especially the Senate, are worried about lies in that great realm called speculation arising from mistrust (or distrust to some). We are worried that this government will again abuse its powers and create ingenious ways on how to earn money from our misery. Those ZTE-NBN deals and Joc-Joc Bolante fertilizer scam capers are just samples of how this government manipulated its own processes to either favor its preferred sons or amass billions of pesos worth of commissions. Of course, some would say that there are laws in place to check abuses, but we all know what happens when a high government official commits graft and corruption--its thrown to the lap of a willing harlot masquerading as the anti-graft chief. Not once did we find a high government official suffering from boils caused by long-term incarceration due to a corruption case.

The mistrust has its roots, one would say. But, the times demand a strong Executive to effect changes. For example, I laud the government for its decision to bar squatter families from re-settling their flooded communities. That would at least, ease the congestion in our waterways. I also praise government for extending the period of loan payments and for the initiative of the Bangko Sentral in asking banks to ease up with amortization and loan payments, especially for affected typhoon victims. That would at least give us some time to use our money to recover what was lost. Of course, in typical Arroyo government fashion, these very good suggestions were immediately squelched by unsavory ones. That BIR proposal of taxing donations is patently pathetic. And that Suarez proposal to tax texts is one helluva proposal coming from somebody who rarely writes bills to better the lives of residents of Quezon.

Yet, we must face this mounting challenge with the realization that government needs all the muscle it can muster to solve these problems. This is beyond politics. If government does not have enough powers to effectively implement a rehab plan, these problems would pile up and eventually affect our future.

In all honesty, those who oppose this are worried that it might affect their political chances come 2010. With a trillion pesos in government's hands, obviously, most government officials would think twice of not supporting the administration bet. A trillion pesos worth of rehab funds could determine the political fate of this country by next year.