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The notorious political butterfly Senator Cayetano, who in the past been vocally attacking Leni after the latter surprisingly accepted the ICAD post which Duterte offered to her. Now he strikes again and this time he is not attacking, but defending the outrageously expensive SEA Games cauldron dubbed as the most expensive SEA Games cauldron in Philippine history.
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano (Taguig), also the chair of the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee, defended the 50 Million peso budget for the SEA Games cauldron which will used for ceremonial purposes and it would only be used once. He insisted that the said cauldron is pretty symbolic given that other SEA countries have all been building the same structure when hosting the Southeast Asian Games. Even citing Singapore as an example, who similarly built a SEA Games cauldron based on a human DNA helix structure in 2015.
Except, Cayetano appears to be unaware or just simply ignorant of the facts that we are not Singapore and for sometime since 2016 – Much of the Filipino’s purchasing power of their incomes has since been eroded by Duterte’s TRAIN Law excises taxes. Unemployment continues to be a problem and a large majority of Filipinos, most particularly farmers were strenuously reeling from hunger as crop prices collapse due to unhindered rice importation approved and considered by the Duterte administration as their band-aid solution to rising prices of rice.
According to IBON Foundation. Most food items are still more expensive now than last year.
In Metro Manila alone, for example, the cost of pork, chicken, fish, eggs and many vegetables in the last week of October 2019 was much higher than in the same period last year. The price of pork increased by Php50; chicken by Php30; tilapia by Php20; sitao by Php20; and potato and native pechay by Php15. The group also noted that the majority of Filipinos’ incomes are still far below what is needed to live decently and still eroding further despite reportedly lower inflation.
In NCR for instance, the real value of the minimum wage or taking inflation into account is actually lower today compared to November last year. Measured at 2012 prices, the real value of the Php537 NCR minimum wage has fallen to Php453 today from Php459 in November 2018.
I also would like to add that as the SEA Games event approaches – the country has been pounded by earthquakes and calamities which siphoned government funds to assist our Kababayans. More reason for us to conserve taxpayer funds instead of trying to impress the SEA Games delegates.
Let them eat ‘cauldron’ (let them eat cake)
Sadly, with all these facts alone – very slow economic growth, a majority of the population in deep economic crisis, widening economic inequality and of course worsening unemployment as contractualization continues to be a problem. Why would we spend a huge 50M disposable cauldron just for ceremonial purpose or maybe even be valued by the artistry and creativity alone.
The people can’t eat it, nor can they benefit out from it. Worse, it would only be used once and then have to remove later due to maintenance costs. So if you try to analyze the situation alone. It makes no sense to try and sell this over-priced bumwash structure just because it’s been made by some Da Vinci or anyone. It makes absolutely no sense either that a high-ranking official of the House of Representatives simply dismissed the concerns of the electorate just so the government needlessly squander public funds for the sake of art?
What could we have used the 50 Million fund for? Well, we could always use that to build schools, classrooms, roads and even use a portion of it to the areas hit by the series of earthquakes in Mindanao. Such money could very well provide food, shelter and all the necessary needs for the people still left in evacuation centers.
Of course, we didn’t want to ruin the SEA Games event. What we want is the government to be more responsible in spending taxpayer funds. Because we are not Singapore and we could never afford to be Singapore. Given that Singapore’s Gross Domestic Product in 2018 was $491.2 billion, up from $467.3 in 2017, the Singapore Department of Statistics reports. Its Gross National Income per person was $81,222 in 2018 from $77,474 the previous year. While on the other hand, the Philippines’ GDP was at P9,206.9 billion in 2018 from P15,806.4 billion in 2017. Per capita Gross National Income was P196,155 in 2018 against P181,152 in 2017.
So you see? Cayetano should just stop trying to be a ”Tuta” of this administration and its allies because he already is