The pork barrel scam is probably the biggest scandal in the history of the Philippine government in recent years. Ten billion pesos (more or less) is a lot of money, and considering that we are a third-world country trying to improve on our global economic standing, that amount of money could have been used for projects — real projects for the good of the country instead of the bottomless pockets of people who cannot seem to be content of how much they have.
Of course, we all know that, which is why the Million People March will commence on Monday despite the President’s announcement that he’s gonna abolish the pork barrels.
But I suppose not everyone can understand why — why of all people to complain, the ones in their early- to mid-twenties are the as angry as the rest of them. People my age, in particular.
The thing is, when you just started paying your taxes, you’re gonna get shocked at how much you pay for them. And for people earning their keep for the first time, that amount can be painful.
But that’s not even it. For instance, in my first year of college, my batchmates and I were met with a riot — angry students were rallying over the Tuition and Other Fees Increase. 300% increase in tuition made it hard for many families to send their kids to school, and I saw some of those kids struggle to survive financially. Some of the money from the ten billion could have helped improve the situation, not just for college students, but for the younger ones as well. Things keep getting more and more difficult, and for the less privileged ones, a college education is further beyond their reach.
Nobody gets paid well enough. It’s difficult to start a family if you’re working on minimum wage, so getting married before you’re thirty is almost out of the question. It’s the single life, and when things get tough, the money that you pay for taxes could have helped you last a few more days. Who wants to be twenty-five and still asking their parents to help pay for their bills? Of course, the situation is different for BPO employees, but the problem with working for those companies is that you don’t have the assurance of tenure, and that’s another story altogether.
Just as people start to accept the fact that some of their dreams have to be put on hold until things get better, the pork barrel scam exploded in everyone’s faces, and people realize that they would have had to put up with less shit than they were putting up with. And let’s put it this way — the kids in their twenties are still hoping and dreaming — wanting the ideal life, and for the most part, the ideal life starts with having the ideal resources. With most of the taxpayers’ money in corrupt pockets, well, you can hardly blame them for getting angry about the many pointless projects that allow all the corrupt politicians to get the money they want and depriving the good citizens of what they deserved.
Mostly, it’s not ours to complain, but most of the anger generally stems from the fact that many of us saw how hard our parents worked for our families, mostly to get us to college, when there could have been money to make a lot of different situations better.
If you’re a working twenty-something-year-old, you’d be angry for the same reasons too, won’t you?