Corruption as the exception rather than the norm PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 08 December 2014 11:32

By REMEDIOS F.MARMOLEÑO

 

My last piece dealt with having to think about all the zeroes in the amounts of the 2015 Philippine national budget of PhP 2.6 T and the  equivalent to 20% of this, which is the estimated  amount that is lost from public funds every year due to corruption. 20% of PhP 2.6T is PhP52 B which we lose to people like Napoles and the Senators and the likes of VP Binay and family. If this 20% were not lost and spent only as intended the amount would cover the cost of many public services that would benefit our citizens, especially those who need the services most.

The issue of the PDI for  Fri Dec 5 carried a two page announcement about taxes that were likely not paid by a tobacco/cigarette company that has been in the media limelight  recently. The ad claims that for every PhP 5 Billion that is not collected/paid ( translate as  lost to corruption)  the amount might have covered the following:  1) PHILHEALTH enrollment for 1.35 million families  or  2) 300,000 hospital beds or  3) vaccination program for 13 million children and other benefits particular to the tobacco farming sector.

Over the years corruption has become practically endemic in our country but it is still rather difficult to become engaged in our effort to fight corruption. The word “corruption” has become an abstraction. It is difficult  to become enraged by corruption unless we give it a face in terms of what we are not getting because of corruption.

If your child goes to a good private school it might be good for you to go visit a public elementary school and see what the facilities there are. This would be the kind of environment your child will be in if circumstances dictate that the child can no longer attend the private school he/she goes to at present. I am aware that the DepEd soldiers on valiantly in spite of the perennial lament of  “insufficient budget”. But the shortage is exacerbated by corruption.

If you have ever been confined by illness to a private hospital room with its usual amenities I suggest you go visit a public hospital and see what you could have experienced by way of amenities there.  I am aware that the DOH, like the DepEd, soldiers on in spite of funding difficulties . But again, these difficulties are generated for the most part by the insufficient funds because of corruption.

We do not fully realize what evil is  until the evil enters our personal space. Corruption is an evil. Should we wait until it hits home ?  Many people have a better opportunity to fight corruption than those who are strongly victimized by it.  They are the people we challenge to pursue corruption and those who are the perpetrators – until corruption becomes the exception in our society rather than the norm.