By Ray L. Junia | Published: October 20, 2020
How are officials in government chosen? There is of course a screening process.
How effective is this screening process? The answer to this is better explained by the kind of officials we have in government.
For many reasons, the screening process in choosing people to run our national agencies sure is full of holes, unplugged even by a President who promised to free the government of corruption during his term.
Last week, the President blasted the Department of Public Works and Highways for uncontained corruption.
Digong said money change hands before things get moving at the DPWH and in many agencies in government.
At the DPWH, “no construction starts without it (bribe money)”.
This looks like this is the rule in the game in the government awarding of projects.
“No money, no honey (project).”
And suppliers and contractors in government projects are warned.
This could be the reason, many agencies end up the year with big balances in their budget, unable to spend, waiting for the “motivation” to disburse.
If this is the situation at the DPWH, where else is this happening?
Try the latest report coming from the head of an agency that has billions of pesos to handle bulk purchases of the government, the Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC).
Dave Almarinez, president of PITC, answering to doubts raised by senators on his agency’s failure to deliver billions of pesos worth of equipment to the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), said, there is nothing wrong with (his) failing to deliver equipment needs of these agencies.
What is the meaning of this, his answer?
Was Almarinez saying the Congress was wrong in allotting billions of pesos to the PNP to fight crime in our streets?
And, Congress was wrong, too, along billions for purchase of fire trucks and construction of fire stations?
Was Almarinez trying to prove that he is better than Congress and Malacañang to sabotage the intentions of the General Appropriations Act by not executing what the law intended?
Or, is this another case of what the President said “nothing moves without it (bribe money)”?
Big leaks in government spending are major concerns of the President, who is aware of the fact that revenues are no match to the national spending program.
Remittances from today’s heroes, our OFWs registered a dip by 2.6 percent from January to August this year, prompting alarm from our financial managers.
Surely collection from taxes is severely suffering as the economy is still on recession.
If we could not earn enough, the best move is bring down cost in running government. That cost item that has no impact to service production is that part of the budget that goes to corruption.
That President Duterte was fuming mad at the uncontrolled corruption in government comes from realization that we have to cut down cost in governance.
Good luck, Mr. President.
The last I heard, the take for corruption has in fact increased and the best customer during these times is the government.
Everybody is rushing to gain contracts with the government.