THE EVIL OF DYNASTIES
"Virtual Reality" column of Tony Lopez
Tue, June 12, 2007 Issue of The Manila Times
Just how bad dynasties are to the economy and the country can be gleaned from the amount of taxpayers' money these people have access to. Take the Senate. There will be siblings - Pia and Alan Cayetano.
In addition,Alan's wife, Laarni, took his old congressional seat from Taguig. There will probably be a father-and-son senator - Nene Pimentel and Koko Pimentel.
The No.2 most popular senator, Chiz Escudero, has his father, Sonny, as congressman from Sorsogon, his son's old turf. Ed Angara is senator; his son and namesake is a congressman.
A senator draws P200 million in pork barrel; a congressman, P70 million. Therefore, Pia, Alan and Laarni will rake in P470 million a year, or P1.4 billion in three years. Nene and Koko will have P400 million between themselves yearly, or P1.3 billion in three years. Chiz and Sonny will enjoy P270 million per year, or P810 million in three years, just like the
How much does the average poor make a day? A third of the 85 million population, or 25.5 million of the people of this country make less than $1 a day, or P365 (or P17,155) a year.
According to Ping Lacson, the P200-million pork barrel of a senator is just a starting figure. If a senator sponsors a Cabinet department during the budget hearings and sessions, he/she is given access to P350 million in the line budget of that department. So P200 million plus P350 million, that's P550 million.
What do the Filipino people get in return for electing these people? Very little, if any.
In the last 100 years since Filipinos began electing their
As late as the 19th century, the
first European-style universities in
During the last 100 years,
During the last 50 years,
liked it there. He stayed there for three months, but died of syphilis. The Chinese erected a monument in his honor.
In the last 30 years, the
economy per capita in
We got our priorities wrong. We gave the people the power to vote even before the people and those they elect learned how to govern properly, or at the very least, prepare or educate themselves to have a modicum of competency and honesty.
These days, people kill people just to be able to serve the people.
People bribe people just to be able to serve the people. That is the meaning of a heated electoral contest. And of fraudulent elections.
Should our politicians be blamed for the nadir we have fallen into? I will say No if those families mentioned in the first part of this column will return their pork barrel and declare, "from now on, I will truly serve the people." C'mon, give the money to the 12-million school-age children who are out of school because of extreme poverty. You don't deserve so much money.
You didn't earn it.