Proactive moves vs. corruption
Never mind the early release of big-time criminals from Muninlupa. The people have already drawn their conclusions, most especially on the collusion between Faeldon and the powers-that-be.
What concerns us more is the corruption in our midst particularly in Baguio City which is the most populous community in this region.
Eradicating corruption would mean a thriving business community with more employment opportunities for constituents. And more votes in the next election for the local administration bets.
Are there corrupt officials in Baguio City’s local government offices or departments to eradicate?
In an effort to answer this, there is a new gas station along Bokawkan Road which appears to have been finished months ago but is still not operating. We are sure the owner did not satisfy some requirements, according to government regulators. Either these are major or small stuff that can just be glossed over or ignored. But it is thes small requirements which government inspectors would harp on just to delay the opening of a business—until the owner comes across with the grease money, often in the millions of pesos or hundreds of thousands.
When such inspectors run out of things to site as a problems they would even notice the smallest of things like a harmless wire than can be remedied right there and then. they would also notice the color of some parts of the building, or the placement or size of the signage before signing an occupancy permit.
That is why the owners of businesses don’t complain because there is always something, no matter how trivial, that can b e pointed out as a violation of the rules or the law.
Business men would readily want to comply in a reasonable manner.
If the present city administration wants to stamp out the corrupt practices of many of its offices or departments which are delaying the operation of new businesses, then it should deal with these proactively.
Number one consideration is to protect the business of a complainant by preventing reprisals. How can this be done?
`If the alleged shortcoming as investigated is not really major or not life threatening, then a business should be allowed to proceed and then a committee composed of experts from the private sector who are not corrupt be assigned to work with the business owner to remedy any supposed infraction. In no situation should the officers of the supervising department which is the subject of the complained be allowed to dip again their sticky fingers into the matter.
For instance, in the case of that gas station at Bokawkan Road, since it appears to be complete already, let it operate unless there is an imminen dangers of it bursting into flames which would mean loss of lives.
Then constitute the said committee composed of experts from the private sector to work with the owner to satisfy unfilled requirements which are often trivial, imposed or nitpicked only for corruption purposes.
By conservative estimate, that gas station will employ, at the very least, 10 people who, for all we know, might be supporting 10 families.
Another way is to come up with entrapment designs that will catch corrupt public officers before they do even more damage against the people’s interest. This should be pulled off by people from the private sector who will be paid with funds from private sources so they will be immune from the threat or influence of corrupt officials.
How about a foundation for this purpose that will also take charge of prosecuting those who will be entrapped?
Considering that corruption is everywhere in government, extraordinary measures should be tried to solve this debilitating reality.**