The Executive department has lined up 3,2000 infrastructure projects in the first six months of the year worth P60 billion. All in the name of pump-priming the economy, of course. If a good portion of the money ends up in the pockets of Gloria Arroyo’s political allies and hangers on, as is likely the case, we suppose we could just charge it to “cash transfers” – the current buzzword for aid to the needy – to the greedy.
(The allocation for conditional cash transfers to the poorest of the poor is reportedly P10 billion this year, allowing for the doubling of beneficiaries from 320,000 to 640,000 families. The social welfare department under Esperanza Cabral is in charge of identifying the beneficiaries and delivering the relief assistance so we have a reasonable assurance the money would not be pocketed. There certainly will be leakages, given the “abilidad” of local officials, but if these could be limited to, say, 10 percent then we have a cause to celebrate.)