The problem with corruption is not only in the realm of government service. To think that the malpractice is so ingrained in the system that the private sector would see it fair to deny the government their required contribution based on the law. It is common knowledge how illicit activities are merged with the legal to go around regulations.

I am a fervent believer that the plight of workers has to be addressed so that they would gain enough buying power to stay above the poverty line. To help them somewhat, small scale business enterprises sprouted everywhere to give them employment. In essence, capitalism works,

After I watched on TV a local rally by transport operators, I was readily convinced that they have all the reasons to ask for fare increases owing to the fact that oil prices continually increase every week. They have valid cause to gain the sympathy of the public.

However, when they reappeared on TV a few days later asking the government to rescind a national directive imposing stiff fines against colorum (unregistered vehicles that illegally ferry passengers) transports, I was dumbfounded. Being legitimate operators, they should be the first group to laud the efforts to remove from the streets illegal transports. Not only these fly-by-night operators steal the income of lawfully registered groups, they pose as threats to the riding public because they lack insurance coverage due to their illegitimate operations.

Transport owners reasoned out that unscrupulous government officials might use the directive to milk them, too. In a way, they had a point due mainly to current extortion activities of bent public officials.

But, it suddenly dawned on me why registered operators want the stiff penalties revoked. The rehashed complaints were part of the ruse to hide their real motivation.

Unknown to the public, most of the colorum vehicles are owned by many large registered operators. How could you earn extra without circumventing the law? All those operators have to do is create dummy owners of illegal vehicles and pray they would not be apprehended or as long as they do not get involved in major accidents. That is part of the business gamble. The other part is pay offs to calm the waters, so to speak.

This goes to show that corruption, when propagated on the top levels of society, is copied and practiced down below, creating a tradition of if-cannot-beat-them-join-them mentality. Once unchecked it becomes part of the culture that would infect every aspect of life.



4 thoughts on “Devious

  1. Solving the transport mess in the Philippines is a gargantuan task. You are right, the corruption is not just in the government side, it is somehow ingrained in the individual psyche of many of us. It is easy to manipulate friendships and personal relationships to get what one wants, and the need/desire for money (by the rich or poor alike). It will take a re-orientation of the young to make a lasting and real change in our political and business practices.

    1. You are correct. 🙂
      However, we are often good at producing empty catchy slogans. Take our president’s example: Pag walang corrupt, walang mahirap. (No corrupt people, no poor people) Then, all of a sudden, the pork barrel scam scandal broke out in the media.
      I notice that Filipinos who reside abroad become more disciplined, showing the real character of a Filipino. I don’t know how we could transfer such mentality back home and really change our ways.

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