Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The year that was 2010...

At the start of 2010, I was fairly hopeful that the country's first nationwide Automated Elections would spark off substantial change in the country's political culture.

For once, with a fast and accurate count of people's vote, we would be assured of somewhat credible results -- despite the many substantial criticisms about the particular technology and the way it was implemented.

The thing is, a fast and accurate count of people's votes does not a mature democracy make and there was no evidence that a fair amount of critical thought was employed in making the decisions at the polls.

President Noynoy Aquino, who ran under the slogan "Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap" (If there is no corruption, there will be no poverty), has so far revealed its failings on the anti-corruption front.

The much vaunted Truth Commission is nothing but a paper tiger at this stage and so far, nothing much has changed with the way things are done with the BIR, Customs, and even the bids and awards committees.

A businesswoman was recently harassed, yet again, by the same group of BIR scalawags who insisted that she had failed to pay the appropriate taxes.  A Customs Broker, whom I sometimes drink with, confessed that business was even better this year -- if you know what I mean.  The friend of a Manila City Hall Official professed more of the same.

On the anti-poverty front, much talk has surrounded Social Welfare Secretary's P21 Billion Dole Out fund but the current crop of technocrats have evaded giving credit where credit.

The plain truth is that Dole Outs won't save people from poverty, but a solid and growing economy will -- the foundations of which were built in the 9 years that President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was in power.

Sure... She may be the epitomy of corruption, but then again, she did set up the country for the economic growth that it is experiencing right now.  

In the coming months, we'll see if the current administration will accomplish any of its vague goals despite itself.

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