Cracking joking remarks about the roads of Samar province which is spotted deep cracks and potholes, the vice president did not sound funny although people made fun of her remarks. The video went viral as the plot of her tale about hers and her retinue travelling by land from the southern island dubbed as the land of promise through the southern island of Eastern Visayas to the island of Luzon and the National Capital Region. She sounded surprised that the road in Samar province is dilapidated, spotted with deep cracks and potholes, as if it is the first instance she passed through such roads.

It was followed with a query if it is the same road where commercial goods are moved from the island of Mindanao to the island of Luzon. If it is it, then commerce is in peril as the passage of goods from manufacturing regions to the regions where good are marketed, distributed and sold to the end-consumers. The delay in the transport of goods and the high cost it would entail in terms of fuel and manpower cost would surely be an added burden that will be passed to the end-users.

As the issue earned public interest, people started asking about the root cause why the dilapidated roads are not being repaired. The interview of the district engineer where the roads are situated bared the excuse that it is caused by the lack of funds for such purpose. The explanation that his office had submitted a program for budget allocation that would cover the needed repairs was not approved by congress. That is why the dilapidated roads could not be repaired in due time as it would entail another fiscal year for a new budget proposal.

The message sounded as if asking for people’s understanding that they have to bear with the inconvenience. In fact, the highway official had taken efforts to distribute the inadequate budget to piecemeal allocations to the different projects in the district. That sounds good if not for the fact that the limited funds are being spent for the repair of roads that appear good and without damage while the damaged roads are left unattended.

If the explanation is true that the reason is lack of funds, the burden is upon the representatives comprising the lower house of congress. While the national budget has increased into trillions of pesos, the budgetary allocation for each department had to be limited within the size of the economic pie. It now boils down to the influence that each representative can exert over the others in order to get the bigger slice of the pie.

Left unsaid in the tales are the deep cuts in the budget from each project. It cannot be gainsaid that the limited budget for a project is made too small as grafters cut the corners of the small pie, leaving too little for the contractor who implements the project and had to earn as well. In the meantime, the affected motorists and the riding public have to repair their vehicles with stronger shocks.
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