The Department of Corruption

By in

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.

4 comments on “The Department of Corruption”

    • Bong
    • September 2, 2009

    So what if officials go against the Department of Corruption, and violate its legislations? What if corruption and greed can’t be moderated based on the human nature? People will tend to find loopholes, and ways around the legislation. Power and politics will play into this, and greed will ultimately bring out the best of the corrupt officials to hide, protect, and proliferate their “legal” and illegal acts.

    PS. oh, people will have to declare all corruption assets? haha

    1. Reply


      The irony – and the beauty – of the Department of Corruption is to look for an excuse to justify corruption. 🙂

      Hypothetically we’re already legalizing corruption, making an avenue for their greed to be moderated and to take place. Here’s kurakot money, here’s the limit of the kurakot-able, and hanggang diyan lang kayo. There’s no limit to greed, neh?

      Amazing what lucid intervals can do sometimes. 😉

      On your postscript: kahit di na, we just limit. hanggang diyan lang pwede ninyong ma-kurakot.

    • cocoy
    • September 3, 2009

    I already asked if we shouldn’t legalize commissions for government officials. a few months back. the comment thread might interest you.

    • Levi
    • September 10, 2009

    Fascinating article. How about a system based on game theory?

    I remember reading an article a while back about how completely eliminating the minimum wage will actually be in favor of workers because then companies will compete with each other to get people to work for them. This will go on until a certain equilibrium is met. So what if something similar were adopted for the government? I’d offer a more concrete solution but then my lack of sleep has me trashed.

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