(This is my reponse to attybenji’s comment on Stop it now- or the strength of the Barangay)
Thanks for your comment and for your updating me about the SK. With you Bulan has found another spokesman in its fight for progress. You know I’m beginning to dislike the word corruption for it seems to me that it has been overused and “corrupted” already and so seems to be losing its semantic power. People have been desensitized already to it that it seems they don’t react to it anymore. The whole world is using this term and since there are countless cultures and mentalities throughout the world, each with different history, religious beliefs and stage of development, the word itself cannot claim to have a universal meaning, for in practice, what is considered already as a form of corruption in one country is viewed maybe in another country as a form of virtue. Corruption is defined in many ways : philosophical, legal, moral, political, etc. Theoretical definitions have in general one thing in common, i.e., a negative one. But it is in different cultural settings where the word loses it’s theoretical significance and gives way to local practices. Corruption is consciously or unconsciously linked with the moral concept of right and wrong, or of what is allowed or not allowed as in law. However, we know for instance that in one city or province, what is right or wrong, what is allowed or not allowed, may differ practically from another city or province even if the said cities or provinces belong to the same country. Even in Europe, things vary from country to country, or even from city to city within the same country. Federalism contributes also to plurality of legal definitions. And hyper-democratism has paved the way to cultural and moral relativism.
So let’s talk about the fight for progress. In this way we keep our positive mindset intact and maybe we can count more on the participation of many tagaBulans. The word progress is commonly understood as positive. You and me understand one thing when we hear for instance description like progressive person or town. Forget the philosophers, for if they would want it, they could transform this word into a negative one. What is important is that in practice, we all agree that is positive and that is universal in meaning. Check out all the dictionaries that you know and you’ll find no negative association to it. I like the simple definition of it as ” to advance, to move forward, to gain”. Even Physics I think would define it something like ” a motion in space from point a to point b”, in biology it means “growth”. When a school child progresses, this is big news for the parents, a reason to celebrate! In human societies, progress means therefore positive development, an event that is in accordance with the universal human instinct of improving the quality of life by acting upon the given physical world and the society to where he belongs so that his needs for food, shelter, participation and protection are satisfied.
The lack of food, shelter, participation and protection is still a problem today, not only to the first homosapiens that inhabited the earth. This is a problem in our modern-day Bulan. For though technologies have advanced since human discovered how to produce fire to our modern internet technology, there are still tagaBulans who have nothing to eat and no protection, no shelter and no chance to participate ( to work or get employed). For many of our kabungtos these needs are not being satisfied. This is the reason why we turn back to the institution that is established to address to these needs- the government. The government is primarily there to work on how to improve the quality of life of its constituents, this is a social contract that we do during elections with the government that we elect. We entrust them the power to manage the resources for them to offer and coordinate solutions to the problems of the people. For a mayor therefore to run away with the kaban ng bayan ( public treasury) is a disgrace.
I understand that all our efforts that we exert now is focused on preventing the kaban ng bayan to be stolen again by a thief so that this could be used to the last cent for the progress of Bulan. Would you consider the children to be happy when the father would come home with no more left for them by spending his money in a drinking-spree with barkadas (friends) after work, or a mother who spends the money for her beauty kits? Many tagaBulans are unhappy. Many kabataans (youth) are without life perspective .
Every tagaBulan should participate in bringing the town forward and do what is right. That’s the reason why I do not agree with Pimentel’s reasoning why he is for the abolishment of the SK. Do you still remember the saying “like father, like son”? To abolish the son, we should rather first aboilish the father. To put an end to SK due to “fund irregularities” is to suggest that we put an end to all, if not many, municipal and city governments throughout the entire country, including the national government itself. For where in our country can you not find “fund irregularities”? Wherever transparency in politics is regularly avoided, common sense would make us assume about fund irregularites- as the case maybe in Bulan. And to say ” due to the absence of serious efforts to prevent (…fund irregularities ) ” is already to accept for these “father” public officials that they are not serious enough and have failed themselves. For how can they blame the young ones when by being crook themselves they cannot train their sons and daughters anymore, or teach them what is wrong and what is right for they themselves do not know the distinctions of these simple categories anymore. To distrust the youth is to distrust the future. This is not in accordance with the concept of progress that we have talked about. To forget the youth is to forget tomorrow and to have no more faith in human society. I say it again that the survival of society depends on the visions of the youth and naturally on the good things they have learned from their elders. The survival of Bulan depends on the youth of Bulan of today. Remove the youth of today and you’ll have an empty place once called Bulan in a few years. Don’t train the youth of today, and you will have a government in the future that is the same as today’s government. Do you like to continue with this poverty and ignorance and with this poor quality of governance in Bulan for the next fifty years? I still firmly believe that there is no other way than to train the youth for Bulan to progress, much like a father who trains his young son the trade of farming or fishing so that this son would survive when he is no longer around.
The problem with the SK that Pimentel mentioned is the result of the ineffective political leadership in all levels of governance in our country.We don’t punish the young ones for emulating the bad things we showed to them. We adults should rather behave well. In other words, it is the frame that must be changed, not the picture, for the frame is defective and doesn’t keep the picture solidly and securely in place. I know that to raise our voice against their plan to abolish the SK is almost like blowing in the wind. But since we love Bulan, we must continue with what we tagaBulans consider is right for our survival, and that is in the first place by not giving up our young tagaBulans, but in continuing in one form or another with their training and involvement in Bulan politics- with or without Pimentel.