A friend of mine says that if anything, we should tolerate and accept corruption. Corruption is so endemic, so intertwined, with our lives that we probably cannot exist without it. Our way of life is so attuned to corruption that it has become normal for many of us.
Minor acts of corruption often give way to bigger ones; when we chastise an elected official for kabalastugan and kalokohan,we’re all forced to look inward and think about how much we do contribute to a culture of corruption. We really can’t cast stones, if that’s the spirit of good citizenship.
My friend is right, in a way: if a majority of us commit small degrees of corruption, then larger acts of corruption can always be justified as normal. Someone buying large properties abroad and refusing to declare them, for example, will always be framed by people who pay off fixers at a government bureau. Wala talagang malinis. So a cycle of institutionalized corruption continues.
For the first time in quite a while, a bout of temporary insanity forces me to quit whining, think of solutions, and work within the box.
My defeatist, cynical self subscribes to this idea that if corruption is so endemic to this country that we can actually think of a very different and unsure life without it, we might as well make it a fact of life and make it legal.
We can all admit to being corrupt, so my silly idea is to make another department that regulates the practice of corruption, one peso at a time. If we all agree that corruption happens, we might as well state a budget for pangungurakot. Hell, let’s make a Department of Corruption.
The purpose of the Department of Corruption manages all corrupt activities in the country. We legislate and execute things that are meant to moderate corruption. Legal, as long as:
- Congress deliberates on how much of the national budget could be allocated to graft.
- Stiff penalties will be meted out with punishment; say, the official in question is blacklisted from the payola rolls.
- Kurakot money should only be used for personal gain, not political gains.
- Graft should only be sustained by its percentage in the national budget. More money allocated to kurakot means less money for schools, roads, and other boonkaka that can assure you of a place in next year’s payola roll.
Basically, this means that your Congressman’s SUV or the brand new floor of the barangay captain’s house – if it comes from kurakot – should only be approved by the Department of Corruption. What this means is that you set limits to what you can afford; more for you means less for the next Government official, and you’ll have to be investigated for mooching off another person’s graft.
In this very simplistic way, we’ve solved two problems. We’ve moderated greed, and corruption doesn’t seem so bad anymore.
Of course, this idea will NOT work, but people will probably find a good justification for corruption anyway. AHA.