By JULLIE Y. DAZA
Corruption is shameful even to those who spread and relish its fruits, so much so that it has to happen in the shadows, behind closed doors, out of sight. But not always.
There’s another category of corruption and it’s so shameless that the corrupt dare to exhibit its ugly face out there in the open, before our very eyes, under the sun and moon in full display on our streets. At a time of new tax laws meant to catch up with decades of nonexistent infrastructures, how many unqualified, underfunded, ill-equipped contractors are getting away with murder?
Murder, yes. They’re destroying our streets without fixing them and calling it “road improvement”; they’re digging, working slowly, s-l-o-w-l-y, closing a street for months with no progress to show, and who’s to complain? A resident who apparently had had enough had the nerve to appear on TV – but first, he covered his face, then asked the producer to show only his silhouette and disguise his voice – and that’s when it got scary. For if a legitimate complaint against a legitimate contractor has to be aired as if the complainant were afraid for his life, shouldn’t the rest of us take the hint and pretend that all roadworks are being paved with the golden-best intentions of Build, Build, Build?
The man told a typical story, except for the name of his street and the name of the company contracted by DPWH. All other details match the experience of neighborhoods that have suffered the same. Why can’t we have more RSA’s apologizing and appealing for understanding of his humongous structures-to-be? Instead, we’re stuck with cheap project owners who have no money and no honor.
Are they so poor they cannot afford warning lights? Yet they have the power to close a road and aggravate traffic. They do not own an ounce of common sense or why start a project during the rainy season? While their laborers dream of the next pay check and a backhoe – remember the “flying backhoe” nicknamed by congressmen? – time’s passing, we’re losing our patience and multiplying the bad, bad, bad effects of stress while neighborhoods deteriorate and traffic worsens. See the dust fly and settle, never leaving, like some awful people.