10.12.2008

Corruption = Poverty

In a country like the Philippines, where corruption is a cancer in stage seven times seven times seven, poverty in a Filipino society has become chronic and acute, infecting the lives of Filipino people, especially the children, who should have been in school studying rather than out in the streets scavenging and forced to labor. The children suffer the worst in poverty; and you can only blame that to the selfish, immature, and irresponsible adults who have a mindset of a crocodile.

If I were to produce a movie about the corruption in the public and private sections of the society, "The Crocodiles" would be an appropriate title. My apologies to the animal welfare organizations if I had to compare your well-loved crocodiles to corrupt public servants and private capitalists. If this should stir a controversy, then I should stick to "The Mosquitoes". Upon seeing the financial potential of real estate properties along the banks of Pasig River in Makati due to the rise of the Rockwell Center, one crocodile abused his political authority by sending us (the land owners) letters on government letterhead threatening to evict us by force from our very own century-old properties. During a political campaign, I had to reject the handshakes of the political candidates to their embarrassment just to get my furious message across. Not one of them had the right to grab our land just like a snap of fingers. Our parents invested time and hard labor just so they could pay their monthly amortizations to Casa Hacienda, the sales office of then Ayala y Compania. (Upon writing this, I know that my life is at risk. So, God bless me!)

In team building, an activity I formulated teaches the value of sharing and the evil of corruption it does to an economic society. With only a single 100-peso bill as the only money circulating among the members of a group (representing the society) to buy food, the faster each member transfers the money from one person to another, the more he or she accumulates food. Suppose in that game, one can buy 2 kilos of rice each time the 100-peso bill passes to his hands, how many kilos of rice can he buy if that same money passes to his hands five times a day. Theoretically, he can accumulate 10 kilos of rice for just 100 pesos. However, if one of the members decided to keep the money to himself, no money will circulate in the society. As a result, all other members of the group starve for the reason that they have no money to buy food. The economic cycle is put to an end by the person who hoard the money. His act of corruption caused hunger to his fellow members.

Whether politicians or businessmen, once they have decided to hoard money for their own selfish benefits, they deprive the rest of the society from their rights to live decently and comfortably. Once they have decided to keep the billions of money to themselves, millions of people die of hunger and remain ignorant outside the schools. Opportunities are lost, work decreases to zero level; thus, poverty. A single act of corruption deprives a family an every opportunity.

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