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Monday, July 22, 2024

Pandemic like no other

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Corruption in government has become a pandemic like a leech that would never go away, or so it seems.

Even the one that has the strongest resolve among immediate past presidents failed to eliminate, or at least curb, this scourge.

The fresh administration of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr has vowed to go after big personalities who will be involved in corruption activities under his term.

“That’s not under my watch, it’s not under my administration.’ Now that it’s my administration, corruption will have no place,” he said in a statement.

This he promised even as he abolished the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission and transferred its functions under the office of the Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs where he said cases of corruption can immediately be dealt with.

Corruption in government leads to loss of billions of pesos in the country’s coffers. They could have been put into better use to help the country’s sagging economy.

When we speak of corruption, what immediately comes to mind are agencies like the Bureau of Customs, Department of Public Works and Highways, Philippine National Police, Bureau of Immigration, and others.

Even the press is not free from corruption.

Bribery is most common form. It happens when a journalist is paid to attack someone. Or when a journalist receives money to write negatively against someone and often the materials used are supplied by the “client.”

Do the common people still care? Down the line, it seems to be a free-for-all.

Corruption, scam, fraud, and all related crimes of stealing are becoming common.

Some taxi drivers, those accredited by our airports, still find a way to peg excess charges on passengers.

Some fruit and meat vendors do not use standard weighing scales so their customers do not get the correct amount of products for their purchases.

Some stalls in Divisoria do not issue official receipts to their customers, resulting in government’s loss of income from taxes.

Some parking attendants charge excessive rates while others do not issue tickets so they get sort of “tip” from their regular customers. Even some security guards can be bribed to get someone priority number in bank transactions.

What does this tell us? Are we slowly losing our sense of morality?

It’s not yet late. It may take a long route, but we have to restart with our children. During the terms of BBM’s father, President Ferdinand Marcos, there was this subject called GMRC (Good Manners and Right Conduct).

It’s about time to make it a full subject again in our elementary education.

Respect, discipline and honesty were ingrained in many of the Filipino adults today who were taught in their early childhood about the importance of saying ‘po’ and ‘opo’—for the Tagalog-speaking population, the other regions have their respective greetings or acknowledgment of respect — to our elders.

“Opo” or “wen apo” or “oo ya” or “oho” or “un ama” or “uwan” or “huun”—we can start reshaping our children’s character and make them hate corruption.

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