Tinikling

November 12, 2011 at 9:27 am (Corruption, Crisis, Politics) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

The tinikling is the combination of grace and movement of feet with the dancer struggling on its feet between poles of bamboo. Tinikling evolved into a national dance inspired by the Philippine Heron popularly known as “Tikling”. The dance follows the movement of the Heron over grass where it makes motions of a dance. The dance originally came from Leyte. The popularity of the dance soared with the efforts of former First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos’ efforts to promote it, particularly through the Leyte Kalipayan Dance Company.

that would be really nice to get into. hmmm...

In the present version of the dance in today’s milieu, the severe and reproving hunt against the suspected purveyors of corruption led the President of the previous administration to seek treatment for her ailment in a foreign country.

The Philippine Government under its current leadership promises to fight corruption to the very end and prosecute those that are found to have violated anti-corruption laws and regulations.

Not to be outdone, the incumbent President barred the past chief executive from travel and promised to pay for the expenses of her foreign doctors.

The incumbent President, Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III,  appears to be dancing the Tinikling with former president now Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo seriously.

According to one of his supporters, the President can boost his drive to clean up the government of corruption by stopping the practice of using the defense and military’s resources for the benefit of a minority in the armed services and very lucky persons in Malacañang. This holds true for all the other departments and agencies of government.

During the past administrations, a lot of money was allocated for purchases that are merely designed to line the pockets of a few people. The purchase of killer jets and airplanes for the Philippine military claimed the precious lives of many officers of the Philippine Air Force. The purchase of the second hand choppers for the police is another case in point. The list goes on and on and on.

OV-10 Bronco PAF Air Craft crashes

OV-10 Bronco crash

The military has a budget approaching the size and heft of nearly one hundred billion. The police has an allocation close at the heels of the military. Lagging behind is the recently separated service of the Philippine Navy – the Philippine Coast Guard that does not even get a pledge of half of the military and the police allocation.

But ask for the enhancement of a particular service and you will be rewarded with a standard reply: “We have no money for that.”

Subsequently, for many elements of the uniformed services waiting for project funds, the standard quip is: “Wait further for releases.”

So where does almost one hundred billion pesos go to? In the case of the police, where does the nearly sixty to seventy billion pesos go to? Now we know, and certainly now we hear of very high ranking persons going to jail to answer for their crimes. But is everyone involved in the crimes being held accountable? That is the problem.

To think that vital institutions like the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) and the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) receive a mere pittance of the combined hundreds of billions of funds supposed to be given to the uniformed services, and presidents have to eat up their budget by bringing in a military band during presidential engagements at Fort del Pilar in Baguio where PMA cadets struggle to finish their meager scholarship.

Spending on bringing over a military band just to play for a president and depriving the PMA as an institution, the cadets and professors of their already measly budget, forces the military academy to dance the Tinikling. Will I spend on this? Will I not? That becomes the predicament of the PMA Superintendent and his staff as well.

So it goes for its counterpart police academy. But even the president of the most powerful country in the world does not enjoy this privilege of having a band tagging along at his behind. Perchance, a simple presidential proclamation or administrative order, or letter of instruction could be made to put this practice to an end once and for all.

While it is good to engage in exercise and physical training, for petty reasons our government workers should not be made to dance the Tinikling.  Their feet might suddenly get caught by the thorny poles of bamboo and they will surely not like the cause and source of the injury.

Indeed, let the fight against corruption continue, but let it be a sincere effort.  Let it also be most of all, a fight against needless, mindless overspending. Spending beyond the design of any budget is the mother of corruption after all.

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