THE CONTENTIOUS “DAP”
Philippine Star Columnist Alex Magno’s article “Omission” (PhilStar, August 16, 2014) is quite revealing. It virtually answered the woes and difficulties of present day living in the country. A paragraph in his column described in no uncertain term the basis of difficulties the people are experiencing to date. Consider this:
“In order to pool mammoth amounts of ‘savings,’ the Aquino administration cancelled infra projects wholesale. The Belgian-assisted dredging of Laguna de Bay, the French-assisted construction of modern ro-ro ports, the Chinese-assisted Northrail project, the rehabilitation of our airports, the Japanese assisted flood control and many others were arbitrarily junked. The massacre of major infra projects in 2010 and 2011 resulted in a sharp drop in our GDP growth rate in 2011.” (Underscoring supplied)
While it was suspected that these major infra projects could have been conceived by previous administration with kickbacks in mind, it could have been revisited instead and changed the terms that would create a clean contract without dropping the whole idea of enhancing public sector engineering. This could have been done unless there is a hidden agenda or a shift of concern.
As it were, we literally have on our hands the possibility of uplifting and upgrading our society but here we are saddled because projects that were meant precisely to improve life have been disregarded. And what for? According to columnist Magno and he was stating a suspicious fact, “The DAP mechanism converted economic investments into politically configured consumption. The money taken from infra projects was converted into pork barrel slush funds designed to strengthen the grip of the Liberal party over our politics.”
Pray tell me it’s a wrong assessment. I wished to be convinced that it is not true. Why sacrifice development in favour of politics? This is malicious. It could never be done, not under the term of a popular, pedigreed Chief Executive, who was elected because of his bloodline with Democracy’s finest heroes. It could never be done even under any imaginary nightmare. I would even insist, call me uninitiated or idiot, that it is not happening in our midst.
Despite my protestations however, in my local travels, I would encounter poor ro-ro ports, as if I am traversing during the time of my forefathers. The ports I have been to are decrepit, unmaintained and the ambiance of indifference all over. It could however be renovated and brought to the fore near world class. A French assisted investor is willing to construct a modern facility for us. But the contract was way laid. Funds for said project are needed somewhere. And so, the ro-ro ports remained as it were. Poor travellers like me.
And so, no more travels by land. Better through the air. And so, I went to the travel agency and procured a ticket for Mindanao. I have travelled by air since I was a budding bachelor and I have as yet to see improvements in the terminal. The comfort rooms are still despicable, the air conditioning fledging, the procedures too manual at the time when the world is already digital. In other words, everything that surrounds me in the area is pure indifference. I understand that government has contracted a firm to rehabilitate our airports but the funds intended for the purpose are needed somewhere. And so back to the same situation.
I thought that I would not travel again. I would just stay in my town and appreciate whatever is there to tinker about. And then true to the prognostications of weathermen, storms of gross magnitude effect bearing tons of rainfall is about to pour down. There were floods everywhere. My town was inundated. Luckily it was not a storm surge. But government has a program for flood control assisted by a Japanese conglomerate. Flood control mechanisms could have been completed but of course the funds for that purpose have to be redirected to more important measures. Floods still continue to dampen my living room and haunt in my dreams.
I convinced myself to just visit colleagues in the North to exchange pleasantries and evade from the nightmare of floods. After all, floods are never a daily fare. I thought that the Chinese-assisted Northrail system has been completed and that it would be a breeze to hop from one place to another. To my astonishment, it was not so. The project has been cancelled since the funds are needed for something else.
I retired in my room instead and downloaded the life of The Buddha—he who is patient, meditative and prayerful. I just wanted to be lost in my thoughts. Everywhere seems unresponsive to my requirements already. I must transcend those things that make me unhappy. I do not want to infuse malice on my environment much more so believe that there is no government at all. I want to subscribe that everything good is happening and that government through DAP is the saving grace, the symbol if not the emblem of “Daang Matuwid.” I am an ardent believer of this despite the hassles, despite the difficulties and hardships I have undergone.
Oh, yes, you can also call me a nut.