Thursday, October 01, 2009

What Supplemental Budget?

So both houses of congress has pledged a P10billion supplemental budget to augment the NDCC's dwindling funds. I'd like to believe that this is a purely humanitarian gesture. But where have all the contingency funds gone to? No it's not a time to be skeptical but hey, the way this administration works is always suspect. Case in point, Gloria's use of her office's contingency fund for her foreign trips. So why shouldn't I have second thoughts about this supplemental budget?

How transparent would the agencies be? We all know that "SOPs" is the norm in our institutions. Congress may think this will go to where the funds should be but how sure are they that this would not be going into some one's campaign kitty? It seems odd that it's been several days now and Gloria hasn't released any emergency funds. Instead, she's been relying on the people's "bayanihan" spirit to help those victimized by Ondoy. Where are the funds supposed set aside for calamities? Perhaps Gloria wants to keep her funds intact, after all, she needs money for her trips.

I'm also wary of how foreign aid would be spent or distributed. Remember how aid for the Leyte landslide was switched? With money pouring in from all over the world, I wonder whose pocket most of it would end up. If Pichay's LWUA can spend for a lavish party at a time when thousands are hungry and cold, what more about the office of the president? No I'm not being cynical, it's just how this administration works.

So now let's go back to this proposed supplemental budget. Some members of congress may have a pure motive, but who can say that it will be used for purposes other than intended? Another example of the point I'm trying to drive home is how relief bags distributed by Manny Villar bear his name. My daughter has volunteered for relief operations being undertaken by another politician but his relief bags do not bear any sign that it came from him. Why you may ask, because it's not the time to campaign.

The people affected by Ondoy really needs a lot of help to rebuild their lives. I just hope that the government will truly help them this time around. Now is the time to help our people, but government should not take the backseat and rely on the Filipino's kind heart. If only we exercised our "bayanihan" spirit when the "Hello Garci" scandal came out, our coffers may still have enough funds to help our people. Oh well, May 2010 will definitely be a date awaited by our tired, exploited people.