Corruption is rife in the Philippines. This has been pretty much a well-known fact .. something I took for granted ever since I matured enough to read the news.
However, the EXTENT of corruption that has recently come to life is STAGGERING… even for someone as distrustful of politicians as me.
The Pork Barrel Scam implicates hundreds of politicians… in this scam it is outright theft of budgets given to ghost projects instead of real projects to benefit the populace. Hundreds of millions… billions in total, lost to ghost projects…
Then comes the Binay Parking Building, dubbed the most expensive parking building in the world which cost a jaw-dropping 2.7 BILLION pesos for 11 storeys of a regular basic building in Makati City. An Australian surveyor has said the cost of the building can’t go more than 700 million which means there is a loss of around 2 BILLION of the Filipino’s money.
Not to mention overpricing of various other projects brought up by Senator Cayetano like the implementation of internet access, senior citizen’s cakes and other small projects that are grossly overpriced.
That’s just ONE LGU. We don’t know what other forms of corruption are festering in all other provinces and cities nationwide.
That doesn’t count the petty corruption done by Customs, BIR officials and even policemen.
It’s been taken for granted that politicians skimmed a little off the top in all projects… but 2 BILLION is not a little off the top. That’s taking the cream, the drink, the cup.. the whole shebang… including the pot, the stove, the kitchen tile and everything in between.
People everywhere are cursing the politicians. Cursing the government. Cursing the fate of the country.
Why are these people in power?!
We blame the voters who allow people to buy their votes. We blame the people who are swayed by a familiar last name. We blame the media for siding with the powerful.
The poor tend to sell their votes because they can’t resist the comfort of knowing where their next meal will come from. Some of the uneducated will go with the familiar last name who gave them a birthday cake or a goody bag with a politician’s last name emblazoned on it because they don’t know any other basis to make their vote.
Our hope is the educated… those who can read the news. Those who can analyze and decide on the basis of more than a famous last name, who will be good for the country.
The irony in our country is, the educated DO NOT exercise their right to vote.
I speak to so many people… educated… professionals… leaders in their fields… who have NEVER voted in their lives.
“WHY?!”, I am screaming in my head…. “Don’t you see the country NEEDS your vote?!”
How will this country pull itself out of the quagmire of corruption and stagnation if the people who can make an educated decision on a good leader refuses to vote.
I know it’s a hassle. It’s confusing to vote. The voting process is very inefficient and takes a lot of time but it’s only a day! ONE DAY of discomfort to help decide who will run the country for the next SIX years.
The people who win in the elections can make or break the country. The effects of elections directly benefits or curses all of us… our fates and livelihoods are, after all, tied to the well-being of our country.
So forgive me as I make this appeal to all of you.
PLEASE EXERCISE YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE.
You may be just one vote… but your one vote can make a world of difference. You, in turn, can also convince the people around you, the people in your own circle of influence, to vote. If we all do this, the direction of the government can take a turn for the better. Even now, there are heartening signs the Filipinos are slowly starting to vote wisely… we need more wise voters to push our country over to the light.
The Philippines and the Filipinos need you to love our country enough to go through one day of discomfort to help make sure we get the leadership we deserve.
Are we going to trust all of our fates on those who are selling their votes… they’re sure to show up because it’s a payday for them. Are we going to trust those who will look at a goody bag and shade that name on the ballot?
The elections are in 2016. You have a year to find out how to register.
I’m begging you to do so. Register… read.. research.. take time out for this exercise of our rights and help steer this country in the right direction.
Please….Be a hero for the country in this way.
No need to go to war and risk your life.
Just go to the voting precinct come election day and cast your VOTE.
How to register as a voter (links):
Voting is not just our right. It is our DUTY.