?100 billion budget? OMG!

OFF TANGENT - Aven Piramide - The Freeman

Plato, one of the most influential Greek philosophers and the founder of the Academy in Athens once said that that the price good men pay for not getting involved in social affairs is to be ruled by evil men, or words to that effect. We take the word “good” in its common acceptance as to mean honest, righteous, and intelligent. A good student is usually a bright guy. A good businessman is an astute merchant while a good husband is likened to a faithful spouse. That is how broad the word “good” is. Conversely, he is not a good man who is dishonest in his ways, who lives an immoral life and does not have an understanding of how to make things work efficiently.

As a general rule, politicians are “good men”. In our common usage of the word, politicians are honest, righteous, and bright. If only there is a scientific way to check their hearts and minds and come up with verifiable findings, we might find out how they really are. That is why we elect them to government positions. Esquire Dennis Lloyd in his work “The Idea of Law” adds another dimension to the goodness of man. He posits that man is born good but somehow environment corrupts him. Perhaps, Lloyd also has in his mind the “good men/politicians in our midst. Environment may not necessarily make good politicians as corrupt people but environment may affect their views of things.

Take the case of our elected leaders. Cebu City Mayor Michael L. Rama together with the vice mayor and councilors are, no doubt “good people”. Their individual dreams for our city, despite the diversity of their approaches, are admittedly noble even if appreciably idealistic. When the mayor sighs for a Singapore-like Cebu, he wants Cebuanos the perceived quality of life of Singaporeans and on the other hand, the opposition assumes critical cooperation, such that we are assured that they are all good people.

Environment, however, must have affected the “goodness” of our leaders. Here is why I say so. To achieve a quantum leap in progress to level with Singapore, our leaders are looking at huge coffers. They need to. Big budget is required. For the year 2023, the city had an annual budget of ?50 billion in order to achieve a Singapore-like Cebu. The planning environment has corrupted the view of our leaders. In their budgetary hearings, they looked at the need for huge allocations but they have lost sight of certain realities. As shown later, the city reportedly generated only ?6 billion!

It is reported that the city mayor is proposing a ?100-billion budget for 2024. Whatever environment he is in now, it must have affected the nobility of his plan. If the city did not generate the kind of funds to implement a 2023 ?50 billion budget how in the world can it get double the failed previous budget?

Let the good people in our city council get involved in these particular social affairs with a different stand. I like to believe that their brilliance can moderate the evil of an oppressed real estate tax. Let Plato sink in our minds so that the good men in our city get involved here to show to our leaders that an overly-ambitious dream is an evil influencer.

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