August 29, 2009
What can my anger do?
This is just a story I want to share to people who are concerned.
My husband is a contractor just like his father who already owns an AAA construction company. He works for his father and at the same time he makes his own business transactions with different people. He constantly searches for projects on roads and infrastructures. When he is interested in a certain project, he would submit a letter of intent and upon series of evaluation and approval, there will still be a sort of “bidding” that’s going to take place. The company which could come up with the lowest cost of the project gets it. BUT THAT’S NOT REALLY THE CASE.
When you want to get a project, you ask directly from the source of the fund i.e. senator, congressmen, governor, secretary and even from the president. They are the ones deciding on where funds should go. They are also the ones deciding to whom they would give the project. So how would they choose the contractor? Not based on the quality of their previous projects, not on their credentials, not on how skillful and intelligent they are but on how high the “STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE” they could give to the politician. We all know what this “SOP” is right? Money / cold cash; new car; luxurious items; expensive trips and holidays. What happens to the other company who is bidding for the project? They would be given a certain percentage of the approved budget of the project and they would back away, as easy as that.
No wonder why the quality of our roads and infrastructures is becoming worse. Big percentage of the original cost of the project goes to the pocket of our leaders. What can contractors do? They work on the budget left but making sure also that they get compensated for their hard work. They are just businessmen working for their families.
Just recently this year, Senator Bong Revilla Jr. sent funds for a certain district DPWH in Tarlac. One project is the construction of a school building. Because of connections, my husband got hold of the project. The approved budget for the project estimates to about 1M pesos. I asked my husband how much will he be spending for the total operation of the project based on the approved blueprint. He said that it would only cost him 300,000.00 pesos. Where would the 700k go? We all know where it would go. To Senator Panday and people connected to him who deals with the contractor. How does the school building look like? Dimensions of the room are less than the standards set up by the Department of Education. There is not electricity setup. Walls are not painted. There will be no ceilings for insulation. I can imagine how uncomfortable students will be when they go to that school. How can they concentrate and focus? It’s just a school building. If they can cheat on the school building, they can also cheat on facilities, materials, and competency of undercompensated teachers.
Now tell me who is to blame for the degrading educational system of the Philippines? I always feel enraged when I think of these things. But what can I do? I have no place in the society unlike those political leaders who manipulates just almost everything in our country. All I can do is write all my disgust and loathing to them through this blog. But I know that there is hope. As I’ve said, change should start in us. We should have the initiative to take the first steps in healing this country. What can we do? That’s for us to find out.