Delusion on ‘reforms’ of Aquino presidency

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It is simply amazing how public funds are sadly wasted in public works and transportation projects (DPWH & DoTC), and government revenues are lost due to the smuggling of rice, oil-products and others at the Bureau of Customs (BoC). The amounts involve each year run to hundreds of billions of pesos.

The worst part in the waste of the people’s money is when these projects undertaken are not even needed at all, which now seems to be a hallmark of the Aquino administration. Of course, this is on top of the projects being obscenely overpriced due to substandard materials used, such as with the 203 bunkhouses built by DPWH contactors worth over P200.0 Million that Rehabilitation Chief Panfilo “Ping” Lacson has revealed.

Last 22 March 2014, I wrote an article entitled “Corruption at DPWH & Road Board” on the anomalous lighting project of the DPWH and its Road Board along the Alabang-Zapote Road in Muntinlupa. This was reported earlier in the Philippine Daily Inquirer on 15 December 2013 entitled “’Overkill’: New Munti streetlights questioned.” Until today, Secretary Rogelio Singson has not stopped this notorious lighting project.

The issue on the controversial P15.0 Million project is that the Road Board is putting up 125 new lamp-posts in the Alabang Town Center and Madrigal Business Park area when there is already existing lighting there along the national road. Other than the fact that they are not needed, the new lampposts are installed 15 to 20 meters apart, instead of the correct 30 to 40 meters distance. Such unbridled DPWH corruption!


Thus, it is truly surprising to hear senior Cabinet members of President Benigno S. Aquino III speak of the “reforms” that have been achieved in the past four years, which “must be continued” in the remaining last two years and beyond his term in 30 June 2016. There now appears to be a glaring disparity between actual reality and the delusion of PNoy and his people. Speaking of being out of touch with reality!

Last Wednesday, perennial presidential aspirant Manuel “Mar” Roxas II broached the idea of a second term for President B. S. Aquino III. The current Secretary of the Department of Interior & Local Government (DILG) claims that the alleged clamor is a “support for the continuance of Daan Matuwid.” In short, Mar Roxas wants “PNoy to continue the reforms,” as the Inquirer placed on its front page last Thursday, August 7.

During the Senate hearing on the despicable Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) last July 24, 2014, Budget & Management Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad deliriously spoke of the “chilling effect” of the Supreme Court decision declaring DAP as unconstitutional on the “Aquino’s administration momentum for reform.” This ludicrous statement must really be A BAD Joke, as I wrote in my column of 26 July 2014.

Two months earlier in May, Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima wrote an article in time for the World Economic Forum (WEF) held in Manila on the alleged reforms undertaken by the Aquino administration. Mr. Purisima wrote: “To see how reforms can change perception and reality one may look at the Philippines.”

Even the Inquirer seem to support that “reform” line with its article entitled “Under International Scrutiny: If PH Reform Irreversible” that asked on “ whether the turnaround that the country has seen in recent years is irreversible? Again, the question is what “turnaround” has really happened in the past years?

The “turnover” that the Aquino administration must be referring to are the impressive economic growth in the past two years, particularly the 7. 2 per cent increase in the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2013 and the investment upgrades from Fitch, Standard & Poor (S&P) and Moody’s. Yet this impressive figures have not really translated to more jobs to provide for the people’s basic needs, such as food on the table.

No less than Economic Planning Secretary and NEDA Director-General Arsenio Balisacan admitted last year that there is no inclusive growth in the Philippine economy. Last month, even the Office of the President in Malacañang announced that the Aquino administration “shall focus on inclusive growth” in its remaining two years. This is something that they should have started doing two years ago in 2012.

It remains a mystery what these “reforms” are that President B.S. Aquino 3rd has achieved in the past four years. Neither the Chief Executive nor his senior Cabinet members like Mar Roxas, Butch Abad and Cesar Purisima can spell out what these alleged “reforms” are. Perhaps they are a state secret that cannot be divulged due to national security. Indeed, these “reforms” are all rhetoric without the details.

Political Machiavellianism?

The Daan na Matuwid rhetoric of the Aquino administration sounds like the “momentum for reforms “ that DBM Secretary Abad shamelessly spoke of during the Senate hearing two weeks ago. It is sheer hypocrisy and delusion for PNoy and his people to talk of “reforms” when the Department of Justice (DoJ) has not yet filed the third batch of complaints with the Office of the Ombudsman on the P10.0 Billion PDAF scam.

The first batch of complaints was filed by the DoJ with the Ombudsman almost a year ago in September 2013 against Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon “Bong” Revilla. Jr., who are now imprisoned with their indictment at the Sandiganbayan. The second batch was filed in late November 2013 that included former congressman and Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon, a Liberal Party stalwart.

However, the third batch of complaints that would include Liberal Party members and political allies of the administration were supposed to have been filed by the DoJ with the Office of the Ombudsman in late April or early May this year. Three months have passed (May-July) and the eloquent Secretary Leila de Lima has successfully deferred its filing.

Just like with the alleged “savings” impounded in the despicable DAP, the Aquino presidency must have also redefined the new meaning of the word “reforms!”

rbrpilipinas@gmail.com

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16 Comments

  1. Horacio B. Freires on

    The massive anti-flood kuno na pagnanakaw sa kaban ng bayan called ‘HUKAYS’ going-on here in Metro Manila everywhere is another WASTE OF GOVT MONEY . . at the same time cause traffic havoc, disrupting small enterpreneurs (carinderias), perhuwisyo sa taong bayan. . ARE THEY NOT AWARE (DPWH & SYNDICATE-PARTNER TONGRESSMEN) OF THE FACT THAT METRO MANILA IS UNDER SEA LEVEL . . .THUS THIS SO-CALLED ANTI-FLOOD OLD-TECHNOLOGY ‘HUKAYS IS NOT THE PROPER WAY TO SOLVE FLOODS. .

    TO D’PULITIKOS & DPWH. . .at pwede ba. . kung magnanakaw kayo sa kaban ng bayan. . .WAG PERHUWISYO SA TAONG BAYAN. . .mabuti pa si Jinggoy tahimik lang. . pero wag lang kayong pahuhuli. ..

    . . .ELSE. . kami na lang kayang taxpayers ang magnanakaw sa taxes namin. . na pangsweldo sa inyo.. .KUNG PAGNANAKAW LANG PALA ANG TECHNOLOGY SA GOBYERNO. . . .para umalis na kayo diyan sa pwesto ninyo. . MGA BWISIT..!!

  2. Your assessments of the rhetorical Philippines reforms are right on. Yes, we are waiting for the DOJ for the 3rd batch of charges, which I believe will include the Administration cohorts … like A-bad, PNoy (I will not be surprised as an abettor and enabler is equally suspiciously guilty), etc.

    DOJ MUST ACT ON THIS AS DE LIMA PROMISED EARLIER THIS YEAR.

  3. Ronquillo kaya kayong mga taga Manila Times puro paranoid kayo mismo gumagawa ng katatakutan nyo.

    • Horacio B. Freires on

      A citizen’s (here a columnist) moral & civic rights to evaluate the govt performance vs the President rhetorics. . IT’S A NEGATIVE ATTACK. .

      Now the President ‘attack-dogs’ . . attack this citizen personally . . w/o presenting a counter ideas to the ideas presented. .

      “Will this ‘below-the-belt’ technology do service to the welfare of the President..?”

  4. westphilippines on

    Our present government is like a ship with a Skipper on the bridge looking forward to the vast ocean ahead. Let us first describe the ship which is MV Philippines: I tend to believe it is above 500 GRT because it carries to-date 100 million pax. The ship has enough power and propulsion capability. It has enough fuel, propellant or motive power. It is also equipped ample machinery and equipment with modern instrumentation, electronic navigational aides and charts, etc.
    “THE SHIP IS JUST DRIFTING” but because the Skipper on the bridge is just looking on the horizon (tuwid ang tingin, tuwid ang tingin sa dagat, in short TUWID Ang DAAN!) Maybe, the crew on the bridge lacks competency to provide meaningful information to the skipper to adjust its course. I am inclined to believe also that they are not recalibrating their compass to ensure that the are getting the right direction to the true north. For those who understand admiralty, they will immediately get my point. They will immediately ask why do we have a “skipper” and not a “Master” for such a big ship!
    In summary, if we have officers and crew who lacks competence, no matter how intelligent they may seem to be, our ship will be in trouble. Same with the present governance. Yes, I believe they have good intentions and their actions are in good faith but the issues at hand are not defined and decided by pure intentions!
    Lets us not wait for the ship to just drift and head for grounding, a collision if not allision!

  5. If reforms had been put in place in the Bureau of Customs, in the DPH, and in other usually corrupt agencies of the government, the missing 2,000 container vans that vanished from South Harbor on their way to Batangas should have been found by now, projects undertaken by DPH would have been aboveboard, and no money would have been lost to corruption in the government.

    The reforms, really, could just have been a product of the imagination of the Pnoy administration.

    • I recall what former Finance Secretary Jaime V. Ongpin said 28 years ago in 1986 about foreign debt when PH had about $26 Billion if it. He said that foreign debt per se is not bad as long they are properly used for a country’s development. He cited the case of South Korea which had much more in debt of over $30 Billion close to $40 Billion, if I recall correctly. South Korea starting reducing their debts in the late 1980s, 1990s and now foreign debt-free in the past many years.

      In complete contrast, the Aquino presidency claims “savings” of hundreds of billions of pesos from 2011 to 2013 that were impounded with the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) that the Supreme Court declared as UNCONSTITUTIONAL in 01 July 2014. Yet in spite of the alleged “savings,” the Aquino administration continues to BORROW money where the Filipino people will pay Billions of Pesos in interest payments alone.

  6. Eddie de Leon on

    Times editorials, Columnists Yen Makabenta, R. Ramos, R Tiglao, Marlen Ronquillo, Ricardo Saludo, Ma. Lourdes Tiquia, Efren Danao Prof Leonor Briones, Dr. Giovanni Tapang, and sometimes the others too have been exposing the lies and injustices of the Aquino administration without let-up. But until two weeks ago a senior officer of the World Bank was still singing the praises of the Aquino regime as the reason the Philippines has emerged as the shining star of the Asian economy.

    ONe of you, Mr. Ramos, should expose how the lies came to be accepted by the heads of the multilateral agencies, the banks and the arbiters of world economic leadership.

    • After listening to the World Bank President in Manila last month, I decided that I will write a column exposing his ignorance. Thank you for reminding me. I will write a column about him this monht of August 2014. Mabuhay!

    • The people you have mention Mr. Eddie de Leon are like horses with blinder that only focus on the negative path. They one group of the “nega” brigade that greeted the President during breakfast.

  7. What has been happening in the four years of BS Aquino administration is all of treachery or betrayal of public trust. His campaign promises mostly are not fulfilled. His economic policies are not inclusive of the poor majority. Worst, our debts are increasing yearly because of too much pork barrel, DAP and now present budget proposal is laden with more than 500 billions of lump sum only the President can allocate. Increasing debts yearly is making our country poor in the long run like the present trend in Argentina in contrast to what South Korea did in the period from 1950’s to 1990’s reducing their debts yearly until it became erased and now they one of the international lender countries.

    • I recall what former Finance Secretary Jaime V. Ongpin said 28 years ago in 1986 about foreign debt when PH had about $26 Billion if it. He said that foreign debt per se is not bad as long they are properly used for a country’s development. He cited the case of South Korea which had much more in debt of over $30 Billion close to $40 Billion, if I recall correctly. South Korea starting reducing their debts in the late 1980s, 1990s and now foreign debt-free in the past many years.

      In complete contrast, the Aquino presidency claims “savings” of hundreds of billions of pesos from 2011 to 2013 that were impounded with the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) that the Supreme Court declared as UNCONSTITUTIONAL in 01 July 2014. Yet in spite of the alleged “savings,” the Aquino administration continues to BORROW money where the Filipino people will pay Billions of Pesos in interest payments alone.

    • Ex-Ambivalent on

      Korea was under military rule until 1987. During that period and even afterwards, huge family-controlled conglomerates, known as chaebol, were allowed to dominate the domestic economy even as they became export powerhouses. Is this the development path you also want us to take?