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If This Were Your Business... (Well, It Kind of Is!)

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Imagine yourself to be a businessperson running a conglomerate where operating expenses run to 1.2 trillion pesos annually. Your revenue is far from hitting expenses, you’re heavily in debt and can barely pay the interest, but the next fiscal year you decide to increase your expenses to 1.4 trillion pesos.

Two questions come to mind: Shouldn’t you have your head examined? Why are you still in business?

A country is in very serious trouble when its leaders regard government coffers as an Aladdin’s den of infinite depth filled with unlimited loot they can spend on whatever they wish to their heart’s content. (The metaphor doesn’t have anything to do with the 40 thieves. Really.)

That’s the way things are in the Philippines today. Our 2009 budget has topped 1.4 trillion pesos and we’re actually thinking of adding 32 additional seats for party-list representatives? It’s probably not our government leaders who should have their heads examined but the citizenry that allows them to lead the nation
into bankruptcy.

I mean, if you’re riding a speeding carriage that’s about to throw you headlong into the nearest hole to hell, you’d be stupid not to take an ax to both driver and horse or, at least, take a chance and jump out of the blasted thing. I suppose that’s what some Filipinos have already done, taking a chance to work under
subhuman conditions in places like Lebanon.

The rest of us who’ve remained in the country—because we’re either too lazy to give up our current lifestyle or still have enough brown-race angst left—can’t imagine where to begin our protest.

How do we put an end to the sickening allotment of 70 million pesos in pork barrel per Congressperson on top of hundreds of thousands in office expenses, allowances, and committee per diems?

And we’re going to add 32 seats to an already bloated legislature when we spend only 168 billion pesos on education each year? Stupid. It’s like spending a hefty portion of your company’s operating expenses on the HR personnel who draft your corporate policies, while allocating a mere pittance to employee training.

The comparison is even grossly unfair to HR professionals from the Philippines, who often find themselves the top choice among other nationalities to do the toughest, dirtiest jobs for MNCs. Compare them to a number of fat, pampered legislators who regularly form a quorum in Las Vegas during a Pacquiao fight.

Speaking of Manny Pacquiao, are the people of Sarangani really going to elect to office someone who ignores the advice of his President and the WHO and refuses a five-day quarantine in Los Angeles to ensure that his adoring countrymen don’t get victimized by A(H1N1)?

It is this kind of foolhardy, myopic thinking that put us where we are today. This
is the same mindset that will keep us in the same rut for generations to come.


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