Who will pay?

Published March 15, 2022, 12:05 AM

by Jullie Y. Daza


Jullie Y. Daza

As the body count continues in Ukraine; as oil and food prices keep spiking; as temperatures inch up and the water level in Angat dam dips and the planet faces irreversible climate change, how do our candidates propose to solve that P12 trillion debt in the next six years?

After listening to their Utopian plans to solve poverty, hunger, homelessness, joblessness, an ailing health care system, a diminished economy, traffic on EDSA, undereducatedness among our young, etc. we wait with bated breath to assess their grand design, if any. Other than raising taxes and legislating new ones targeting ordinary citizens, in particular the salaried ones and the faceless masses of consumers, what do they have up their sleeve? Who’ll inherit the positions to be vacated by the secretaries of Finance and Justice, the NEDA chief, all highly rated, unlike the PhilHealth chairman.

A pity our presidential bets will not or cannot reveal the names of their prospective appointees; otherwise voters would find it easier to judge the incoming president’s ability to read people in choosing the right men and women for those sensitive jobs. Jobs which should come with built-in insulation against clever managers with a talent for stealing public funds guiltlessly.

The fun, the wonder of a race presaging free, honest elections seems nothing more than a nonchalant preparation for seriously picking the right good people to run our government and our daily lives, Saturdays and Sundays included. Else, why go through such an expensive, exhaustive campaign?

If politics were so great, look what it cost champion pole-vaulter EJ Obiena, our brightest hope for more gold from athletes. And the loss is not even due to Politics (spelled with a capital P) on a grand scale. But petty politics. As Senator Bong Go rues, the nation as much as the athlete, ranked fifth in the world, lost by EJ’s exclusion from the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade happening this week.

EJ, who would have been the highest-ranked participant, was not endorsed by PATAFA due to a festering feud over wages paid or due his coach. However, EJ was greenlighted by the Philippine Olympic Committee.  

A disappointed but optimistic Senator Go said, “Hopefully there will be no politics in sports.” Say again, sir?