Ghost projects then, now ghost dialysis
There was a politician in the Cordillera whose wife was the one taking care of business with government project contractors. The politician could face the electorate, as he has done in the recent campaign, saying that he was not getting SOP (grease money) from the contractors. In a way, he was right because it was the wife getting the SOP. That is why it was the wife whom groups approached for fund solicitations and other favors which the people wrongly believed was the duty of politicians to give.
After the wife, one of his children comes along for the same purpose. To ask for more SOP from the contractors. This person was also the one undertaking the juicier government infra projects in the district through dummies. So he had been earning twice.
The result, highly substandard projects. How do these pass the quality control of regulators? Easy. They don’t check the projects anymore, in a serious manner, that is. Because they are also on the take. They would say to the contractors, “Just implement it. As long as long as we get our share, quality standards be damned.”
Now there is a new thing in our corruption horizon, “ghost dialysis.” A health care provider in Metro Manila had been collecting from the Philhealth the charges for the dialysis expenses of a patient. As it turned out, the patient was already dead for months already. So a substantial amount was collected by the health provider from the government’s health insurer for somebody who had already given up the ghost.
All of these mean wasting our money, or our tax payments going into the pockets of a few.
How do all sorts of corruption thrive everywhere?
The only way to stop it is to concentrate on prevention (such as through entrapment) rather than just being reactive, acting only after the fact. And this can only happen if a strong private sector funded people’s organization takes the task as its mission. A government body on the other hand doing this might show some results in the short term but will surely get politicized in the long term.
Or perhaps, if one who is a little bit crazy in terms of his hatred against corruption ascends into Malacanang and then intensely goes against corruption. Remember what PDu30 said when he was still a candidate? “We will fatten the fish in Manila Bay and in various water ways in Metro Manila through the corpses of drug addicts and pushers.”
That kind of craziness. Or if you want to be positive about it, intensity.**