Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Graft and Corruption

MASSIVE graft has cost the government a total P1.2 trillion (US$48 billion) in the last five years, according to Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez.

Describing the huge toll that corruption wreaks on the country’s coffers, the Ombudsman said, “Can you imagine how many infrastructure projects could have been pursued? How many jobs could have been generated? How much equipment used in peace and order could have been bought, had this amount been used instead to improve our collective lives?”

Try asking how many children die each day as a direct result of this pernicious problem. Filipinos need to see that it is not just a matter of tolerating bad roads and terrible traffic and seeing more cops in the streets. People, particularly the weak and the most helpless are dying. The alarms need to be turned on full blast and we all need to awaken post haste because I don't think we can expect any assistance from anybody. One point is clear: dramatic change is necessary, the present path will lead us only deeper into trouble.

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