First off, I'd like to say that since I DONT work in the Philippines, I don't pay PH taxes. Second off, I don't remit money back to the PH. Thirdly, below are my commentaries on the news that has flooded the media regarding PH Politics and the corruption that it has unveiled. And fourth, I'm writing this down to chronicle my active interest in reading news pertaining to this 'change' that's happening within the Philippines and the political landscape it has.
On the Napoles scam, as soon as the news hit the web and illustrations of Napoles' daughter came out living the life of luxury in the US, my initial reaction was, it's an effective method to hit home the point of the magnanimity of the scam. But, the afterthought I had was, what if the daughter was innocent and was unaware of the scheme(s) her parents did to obtain the ill gotten wealth? Doesn't that make us bullies preying on the naive/innocent(?). Do we crucify and stone the children for the sins of their parents?
My thought during the afterthought was: if I were Napoles' kid, would I have been inquisitive enough to get to the truth of my family's wealth? Or as a teen, would I have just lavished in it and care not for where the money was coming from, as long as they were coming in?
I can understand the popular sentiment of the Filipino people - being the most emotional people in the world - to ride on all the blogs, share the news, and really express their dismay, anger and frustration, that the money they were paying for as tax, was being siphoned out through bogus schemes. The truth will hopefully prevail. And I appreciate the grounds social media has enabled to rally people together.
The President, as I am now a believer, despite his stubbornness in pointing back to the previous administration of faults, will be good enough to oversee that whoever is at fault will be tried and judged accordingly. If he holds true to his campaign "the people are my boss", then he I believe, will make sure that's true.
With the recent announcement of the reorganihzation on how the fund is allocated, I again saw more outrage that it's not immediately abolishing the scheme itself, but actually just re-branding. My thought on the matter is that, we (the people in my News Feed posting) are urban-centric. When we commented on the matter, did we think about the situation of the people in far flung areas who don't have roads or have less means to get proper education and schooling?
Yes, abolishing the pork will do a lot of good in eliminating political patronage and separating the executive from the legislative. But what about the good the pork has done? As was repeatedly mentioned before by the President, there are a lot of good the PDAF scheme provided - education, medical mission, road rehabilitation - provided of course it was by an honest congressman/senator (note: at the expense of political patronage to a degree). Do we just stop the ongoing benefits that it is providing to the poor?
The poor as I have noticed, does not have the voice or medium to be heard. Do we - the urban - respect their thoughts on the matter? They voted for the people (mostly incompetent - in my general perception - I might add) in power did they not? Who speaks for them on social media?
I agree more with the gradual abolishment of the PDAF as Senator Miriam Santiago had suggested with the schemes as suggested by the President put in place. While it is gradually being abolished, the government can find a more effective means to institutionalize something that will be mandated to make proper use of the PDAF or whatever name it will be called by then - outside the hands of the legislative branches. The PDAF I believe, despite my anger and frustration with the way it was used and managed, is a good social equalizer - bringing to the poorest of the poor, the progress that we enjoy in the urban areas (assuming of course it was handled correctly)
Political patronage, feudalism, and political dynasties, etc are the seeming trend in the political landscape of the Philippines. But I can see, as a country, we are moving in the right direction. It doesn't feel like before, where the more popular sentiment was "scandal na naman? nakakasawa na." Reaction - without action...until the pot comes to a boil and water starts seeping out. With the advent of social media, and as news gets delivered faster, the rate at which the water comes to a boil, I feel has become faster. It's a great catalyst to action - social media.
I can't say how the landscape will change - if the majority of the voters vote because of political patronage or popularity. But, eventually we'll get to where we need as fit to us. I mean that in the sense that there's no point comparing the PH to other countries in terms of how they managed to resolve their issues. History after all is studied to learn a lesson from events to apply in the now - but not to apply the same lessons as written in the text. If the masses were educated and as we get more entrants to middle income families, then the social and political structure should change accordingly.