The Chocolate Hills fiasco, imbroglio, and hullabaloo

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Josephus Jimenez - The Freeman

A fiasco is a ludicrous and embarrassing failure that vexes, irritates, and exasperates an indignant people. An imbroglio is an extremely confused and confusing situation that palpably shows incompetence, recklessness, and mindless imprudence of some people. And a hullabaloo is a lot of noise, indignation, furor, and outrage of angry and frustrated people.

What happened in the Chocolate Hills is the best evidence that we have a government whose right hand does not know what the left hand is doing. This is definitely not the fault of a landowner who worked hard as an OFW, saved his hard-earned salaries, and invested his honestly-generated capital in the spirit of entrepreneurship. He is not a politician who stole money from PDAF. He studied hard to become a seafarer, endured the years of isolation from family, persevered under very difficult and harsh conditions aboard vessels in high seas. He put up his money in his own land and gave employment to many people and helped in the tourism of Bohol.

If what he did was illegal or prohibited, why did the local government units of Bohol not stop him even before he could erect a single post? Did he not apply for a building permit and was granted the same upon payment to the offices concerned? If his building violated some regulations of the DENR, were the municipal and provincial as well as regional DENR officials sleeping on their job? If the provincial governor of Bohol whose family name is the same as the board member who heads the provincial board's committee on tourism knew about this establishment and was aware of the violation, why did the province use it as a site for the provincial athletic meet?

Do the DENR and the Department of Tourism not talk to each other? Don't they have a coordination system? Which takes precedence in importance and value: The need to protect the environment, the need to protect tourism, or the need to spur business and industry? The problem with this administration and all the administrations before it is that it does not have a clear hierarchy of values. That is why they cannot decide and they keep on pointing fingers and issuing contradictions among multiple press releases. Each one among the agencies and officials are washing their hands. Well, this is the season of Lent and this is the season for washing hands in the style of Pontius Pilate.

If this fiasco happened in Japan, the ministers of tourism, of natural resources, and the governors of the concerned prefectures, as well as the mayor and the village leaders would immediately tender their unconditional and irrevocable resignations. They have failed in their jobs. They have blundered in a grand manner, with far-reaching consequences and great embarrassment to the government. And the very least that they could do, and the more honorable one, is to commit an official and professional "hara-kiri" by bowing before the emperor and the people and unburden the population from further damage arising from their incompetence, reckless imprudence, lack of foresight, lack of skill, or plain laziness and neglect.

Now, the Senate committee, graciously chaired by an eminent lady senator who owns multiple real estate developments affecting the environment, is jumping into the fray to investigate again ad infinitum. My God, this is becoming a government of endless investigations ad nauseam, without any concrete results. Investigation is not the solution; the solution is action. This is not for the legislative, this is for the executive.

The president should stop travelling and start supervising the local government and making the DILG, the DOT, and the DENR do their job and synchronize their acts. The problem is in Bohol, not in Germany. The solution is in the Philippines not in the Czech Republic. The bureaucracy and the local government units need one leader with clear policies and categorical directions.

vuukle comment


  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with