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Why “budget” has little to do with progress?

Money Crucifixion

Progress is not in the budget, corruption is.

We understand why it is customary for any president or administration to ask for a big/bigger national budget every year. That is because the government wants the nation to progress, believing (or deluding) that by spending or funding its projects and programs, the budget would translate to development, automatically.

The truth/reality, however, is that much of our national budget, year after year, ends up in crooked pockets or is translated into continuing massive government corruption and the nation’s ever deepening financial indebtedness/troubles and economic woes. Myopia.

Imagine, the country has been losing yearly a big chunk of our national budget to corruption, in several/countless billions of pesos as reported, not to mention the many other evils around us (e.g., smuggling, inflation, criminality, insurgency, etc.) due to the same crookedness.

Where have budgets brought us from the time “national budget” was invented?

Money is important, but life is not just about money. Yet, with the way things are going in Philippine “public service”and “politics,” governance seems to be just about money – in the same way that elections in the land are nothing but about money, purely and lamentably. (The imperative electoral reforms in this regard have long been overdue).

Tila pinaiikot lamang talaga ng pera at pulitika ang mga Pilipino nang dahil sa kabuktutan at mga pagkakaperahan kung saan ay umiikot lamang ang mundo ng mga gahaman at kurakot sa pamahalaan at pribadong sektor.

Do away with the so-called “task forces” and other needless so-called “funds” like pork barrel, intel and confidential funds. They essentially accomplish nothing for the country, but just to satiate the cravings of the corrupt, avaricious and power-hungry. Milking cows. Why the need for special bodies that will need huge “budgets” when the works and divisions of existing departments can do the job conscientiously (if they have it), and with brain? Ludicrous.

Look at the bigger story/plot. There is more to the book than the page you are stuck on. Every department and government functionary needs more than a “huge budget” in order to deliver or function effectively. Huge, good heart is what is needed from them.

There is little connection between national budget and national progress because progress is much more a matter of wise, clean and upright governance than “funding” or money. “Then He (Jesus) said to them: Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” – Luke 12:15

If earnings/savings is what our officials need to fund their ambitious, fabulous programs and projects, then the President should have the eradication of government corruption as his first, foremost and topmost priority, ahead of others – without the government having to lust after “more loans” and dirty money from legalized, destructive gambling activities/operations or Pagcor – just to put Filipinos deeper in miseries or in the ground covered with earth.

In connection with the above, the good news is that our Ombudsman seems to be doing his work right and courageously, as he is now acting decisively against government officials and private individuals involved and tagged in the Pharmally scandal.

Ombudsman and Pharmally

Ombudsman Samuel Martires is the same official who said when he was interviewed back in 2021 as yet a deputy ombudsman: “On the aspect of combating corruption in the country, I think it will take us a lifetime to fight it unless we change our values.. remove sources of corruption… the seven cardinal sins.” He spoke about “religious education” as a key to combating corruption. Kudos.

But let me suggest, Sir: Beyond “religious education,” what our public officials and Filipinos need is spiritual transformation. 2 Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 4:24. Bagong Pilipino muna bago ang Bagong Pilipinas.

First things first.

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