When they start telling us we’re unworthy of help

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When foreign entities tell us that we can’t have assistance because we are corrupt, don’t we feel red on the face? Don’t we experience goose-bumps to be told that we’re untrustworthy? Don’t we feel like immature juveniles when others tell us we need a course program in honesty? As a nation, is there “delicadeza” left in our bones?

I don’t know how to react on the US Millenium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) decision to scrap our anti-poverty aid. Help is available from the corporation, but it’s our worthiness— the apparent corruption that bars the way. As a result, the suffering poor, the object of humanitarian assistance, are bound to miss the financial booty.

I’m stunned how easily we take trustworthiness for granted. The country got failing grades in the control of corruption (47%,) health expenditures (19%,) and primary education (32%) for FY2009.

Across the board, the exceedingly low grades reflect total failure in all fronts. I would not be surprised if our leaders will just shrug them off just like before. It’s something the public knows all along.

Indonesia, Columbia, Zambia, places with corruption problems like ours fare better than us. Our country consistently scores lower than the median in at least 14 of 17 criteria considered in determining assistance. We aren’t qualified and it is the people outside who tell us.

“To be eligible for US help, developing countries must show their commitment to policies that promote political and economic freedom, investments in education and health, control of corruption, and respect for civil liberties and the rule of law by performing well on 17 different policy indicators.

The board called upon the government of the Philippines to intensify its efforts to fight corruption and will closely monitor the country’s performance,” said Ambassador John Danilovich, MCC chief executive officer.”—Philstar (12/15/08, Katigbak,J)

The MCC reports corruption control in the Philippines precipitously slid from 76%, 57%, and 47% in 2007, 2008, and 2009 respectively.

The dire findings entail urgent measures which we can’t laugh off like kid stuff. It’s the same MCC which gave RP $21 million aid to combat corruption (without success?) in 2006. Aren’t we ashamed?

Most of us aren’t ashamed. We are used to corruption. We are too focused with our personal lives. Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo and those who support her administration will probably just pretend they are doing something to stop the bane that’s eating our society’s foundation.

We know we need to act responsibly as individuals now. We can’t rely on the government or our friends to rid us of a problem that is partly our own making. We can’t claim we can’t do anything or pretend that corruption is far from us. Our way of life and the next generation’s future are bound to go down the drain if we don’t act. It’s just a matter of time that things will really look very nasty.

Without honesty, industry, and upright moral values, we will surely bring irreparable ruin to ourselves. The warning signs are out there. What we’re facing is the worst and the most difficult to control. (Photo Credits: Trainman; GmaResign; GmaResign;; GmaResign) =0=

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