Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Singson to head DPWH and a politico now at DBM: Lopez proxy in energy department?

The appointment of a former campaign manager as Budget Management secretary is understandable. Butch Abad, the Liberal party campaign manager, is a former politician. He will head the DBM, the agency tasked specifically on disbursements of government funds. And you know what will definitely happen next?

Expect those local executives who supported Noynoy Aquino to get what they want. Expect other local executives who jumped ship to be pampered with pork barrel funds. And expect those who are intending to follow suit to get the same. As the saying goes, politics is a rewarding enterprise.

With a former politico as the DBM head, what will then happen to the anti-poverty program of the government? What will be prioritized first? Will the Aquino administration limit debt servicing in exchange for increasing the budgets of needy agencies such as DECS and others? Or will they put greater emphasis on giving those meaty pork to those who rah-rah with them last elections?

Another one, a certain Rogelio Singson, president of Maynilad waterworks system, is being eyed to head the public works department. Nothing wrong, except that he's a very close relative of Ilocos governor Chavit Singson, who happens to be very close to the previous dispensation AND a certified big time operator here in the Philippines.

A Singson to head DPWH? We all know what happens inside that old building along North Bay boulevard. DPWH, according to Transparency Network, is one of the most graft-ridden agencies in the Republik.

While Singson heads the Maynilad, look at our water rates--they are higher than water rates in the entire ASEAN region. Imagine, a country rich in water resources selling water to its citizens at a price they can't ill-afford!

Probably, Singson is good in numbers. If he prices cents per cubic meter of water, he can very well price ten pesos for every cubic inch of asphalt. Or even higher. How then can we sleep well at night knowing that our money is being treated like water?

Jose Almendras, another water executive, is being asked to head the energy department. Are Singson and Almendras now the Lopez company proxies in the Aquino administration? Probably yes.

We all know that the Lopezes' have a stake in the energy generation department, a direct competitor of close Arroyo associates, the Aboitiz.

Is the new administration now saying err assuring the Lopezes, very close political allies of the Aquinos, that what they lost in Meralco, they will now regain by putting their man at the helm of the energy department? this early, what we are seeing are danger signs ahead. Imagine, two critical government agencies--public works and energy---in the hands of proxies of the Lopezes. Are we now saying, Mr. President that all is game in the name of politics?

Its like saying, go after big-time rice smugglers yet spare those who are responsible for jacking up our water and electricity rates.

Wow. Talk about "new administration", this one is showing signs of being old.