Thursday, September 12, 2013


That is why New Yorkers have a problem with our Cardinal who shielded church funds that do come from believers from sex-abuse law suits in his previous assignment. And would remark that Francis was simply "high" (as in smoking dope?) because of the huge crowd that showed up in Brazil when he spoke about gays? There is a specific church rule about gays; and there’s also a specific church rule about sex abuse? I remember my family's first guided tour in Rome and the Italian guide matter-of-factly talking about families that many years ago ruled Rome for good or ill. And so when rumors about the latest Vatican scandals hit the press, just like the Italian guide, I didn’t bat an eyelash. Faith and hierarchy aren’t one and the same?
So former Chief Justice Corona went to join the pork protesters in Luneta? He and his cohort believed he was not guilty – because his dollar account was accessed in violation of due process? In other words, contrary to the rule of law? In the Philippines where there is no rule of law, we are invoking the rule of law? Rule of law is a principle in mature democracies goes our rationalization to explain why we’re not as progressive as the developed nations in the West? We can't compare apples and oranges – "ganoon 'yon talaga"?
I remember a visitor to the US from one of the subsidiaries of my old MNC company perplexed why a receipt from restaurants in those days was the perforated bottom portion of the check which was blank: "Is this blank slate the official receipt?" And so I said, "It’s called the honor system" – and showed him my two sets of phone and credit cards: one is personal, the other company; and there is no such thing as obtaining cash advances before a trip. The honor system cuts unnecessary steps to raise the level of efficiency and productivity. And so many years later when I was explaining this to my Eastern European friends they were at first stunned, but then recovered and not just to appreciate the principle but to in fact embrace it. Simply put, in order to be globally competitive, they’ve realized that they had to benchmark against the best in the world. And thus their performance against Western behemoths wasn’t an accident of fate but the outcome, beyond their vision, of hard work, including turning their back on potential partners that didn't reflect their value of transparency – supposedly would undermine sales efforts yet they've continued their explosive growth!
And so in the set of metrics to measure a country’s competitiveness, rule of law and ease of doing business are critical elements. And it is not about rocket science; it is about transparency – because layers upon layers of control don’t enhance efficiency and productivity. It also is anathema to innovation because innovation is about simplicity and being user-friendly and thus enhancing people’s way of life. Thus, complex isn't it, simple is it!
There is no question that the New York Cardinal has a sophisticated reasoning why he shielded church funds from sex-abuse law suits. It’s no different from Justice Corona rationalizing his innocence. But then again, the church and PHL are similar in more ways than one – inward-looking, parochial, insular and hierarchical? And which is why Francis has taken the church to task?
There are lawmakers that may find themselves in hot water following the pork scam revelation. Are some of them well-schooled lawyers with the sophistication to dance around the issue? But if we are holier-than-thou, should they not simply resign? A New York congressman resigned and more recently the mayor of San Diego too, and in both cases it was about a sex scandal. While the church has demonstrated its intransigence and thus found itself at the opposite side of the law. Who will our lawmakers mirror? Of course, the church is our model and so we expect that these lawmakers would do likewise? It should not diminish our faith – because faith and hierarchy aren’t one and the same?
Lawmakers are still rationalizing pork because it is a necessary evil; and democracy is messy and lawmaking and budget-making are inefficient? Why don't we start with transparency? And in our case, it means learning to prioritize as opposed to inclusive or holistic or comprehensive? For example, there is no coherence in our energy program because we are beholden to vested interests? Or is it about compassion to the poor that may have to suffer higher electricity rates; then is it classic crab mentality or the inability to prioritize and which explains why PHL suffers from persistent underdevelopment and pervasive poverty in the first place? Then why can't we have a modern airport or basic infrastructure; or support the JFC's 7 industry winners? Ergo: we simply can't prioritize . . . but there simply isn’t enough money to please Juan de la Cruz and his “kuro-kuro”? Kuro-kuro or crab mentality (like party-list, land reform or EPIRA) promoted anarchy, not democracy?

No comments:

Post a Comment