A big crowd of poor city residents in greater Metro Manila area had been queuing to grab the small amount of cash dole-outs from the government which was started days ago. The 500 pesos cash incentive is intended to help residents pay their electric bills consumed for the month of May 2008. The national government called this insignificant program as power subsidy.
The power subsidy was funded through the 2 billion value added tax collected from the different business entities. But the grapevines which are critical on this new move of the administration of PGMA downplayed the dole-out as cheap gimmick which is actually could not even mitigate the growing problems of the masses caused by the soaring prices of basic needs.
The power subsidy is only one time and could not be repeated until 2010 and beyond. PGMA ends her scandal riddled administration in 2010. That is, if she will honor her constitutional duty to relinquish her long stay in power.
This questionable step of the national government is suspicious. The billions of pesos earmarked for power, fertilizer and rice subsidies bear a shadow of doubt. Election spending in 2010 is much bigger and the administration is aware that they can’t afford to lose. They have to do their old tricks applied in 2004 Presidential election where billions of pesos were used out of ghost projects and fertilizer fund scum.
For the meantime, the people are busy collecting their 500s and so the people in government are also preoccupied counting their shares from the billions of subsidy ready for the taking. To loot or not to loot…loot as long as there’s to loot.