• Economic slump, another look into the pork

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    Ej Lopez

    Ej Lopez

    The dismal showing of several economic indicators the past week has practically brought jitters to investors and businessmen as regards to the status of trade and commerce locally. Of course, it has been assumed that this was brought about by external factors that are not within our control, presumably the ongoing unrest in Syria. But the fact remains, how does the local economy react to this kind of inevitable circumstance? Although this slump is a worldwide occurrence brought about by what is termed as geopolitical phenomenon, much like our current difference with China; the question is how do we compete or react economically with this kind of situation on hand?

    Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said that the market volatility we are presently embroiled in is something not within the control of the central bank. The jittery nature of the market was a natural reaction to the possible tapering of US economic stimulus, which could bring slowdown in its economic recovery and a possible shift to war expenses that could spell the breakdown of recovery and growth in that part of the globe.

    In this warlike atmosphere, it is unavoidable that the United States enters the scene either as a peacemaker, mediator or equalizer. This role situates them in a bind, because it puts them in an unbending position that compromises their economic situation, because of their image both as a military and economic superpower. In the first place, this is what is expected of the US as the foremost superpower. With this in hand, we are to expect a protracted worldwide economic slump that will unduly put either a halt or a slowdown to what is supposed to be an economic recovery that has just recently commenced.

    The stability of the local economy depends largely on how economic authorities manipulate the situation to their advantage. This worldwide quandary should not be perceived as always affective of our local economic standing, lest we become subservient to any global slump that comes along our path.

    The recent stock market drab should be perceived as a mere market correction, despite the heavy incidence of a downtrend. It should be borne in mind that we are coming off from an almost three-year boom. Probability wise, we are expecting this to come in due time because that is the statistical as well as an economic ramification of the so-called “diminishing returns theory” that accompanies all natural phenomenon.

    Need for pork
    The recent mass action at the historical Quirino Grandstand in Luneta has again proved to all and sundry that the Filipinos can unite for a worthy cause. The issue on pork barrel and its removal has brought us back to our senses that for so many years, we have been taken for a ride by some unscrupulous politicians who have nothing in mind but to take advantage of taxpayers’ money. The revelation on the mythical existence of these beneficiaries of the pork should not have been uncovered if not for the “Divine Intervention.” As such, the people are clamoring for “blood” of these callous and thick-faced leaders, and they deserve it for it is a criminal act much graver than genocide or mass murder, for they deprived the people of decent living and services that they rightfully deserved. The amount of money lost as a result of those dastardly acts is equivalent to almost 40 percent of Luzon’s power generation requirement, reports said. Imagine how much business opportunities it can create had it been channeled to Mindanao, where the brunt of power crisis is being experienced for the past few years? President Benigno Aquino 3rd should leave no stones unturned in identifying and prosecuting the people who literally bastardized the people’s hard-earned income.

    On the lighter side, however, the complete abolition of the pork is both not politically and economically viable, and will be proven more tragic in the long run especially if it is utilized as a “political tool” of whoever is in power. Complete abolition of the pork will do more harm than good to the people, because delivery of basic services to the people for regional or congressional district facilities will suffer breakdown. As it is, there are still some leaders who are true to their words who utilized fairly their pork as shown by the development in some regional and urban centers. But other pork’s were misused because of the lack of monitoring and control mechanism that made it prone to abuse or misappropriation.

    To clamor and ask for an honest and selfless politicians or legislators may be wishful thinking, because that is tantamount to “perfection” which doesn’t exist in an imperfect world like ours. But this imperfection should not be misconstrued by some politicians to be their motive to enrich themselves in power to the detriment of the masses.

    “I think it’s about time we voted for senators with breasts. After all, we’ve been voting for boobs long enough. Clarie Sargent, Arizona senatorial candidate.

    For comments email: doc.ejlopez@gmail.com
    with cc to: opinion@manilatimes.net.

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    1 Comment

    1. I strongly disagree with your contention that a complete abolition of “pork barrel” is not advisable. A large part of the political dysfunction of this country can be attributed to the patronage relationship between the people and their elected representatives, which is wrong for the framework of the system the country’s chosen to use to manage itself. Service delivery is not, or should not be, the responsibility (or the opportunity) of the Legislative branch, but rather the job of the Executive at whatever level is relevant. Legislators are supposed to legislate, executives execute. But here, the people do not understand that, and evidently, neither do most politicians.