Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Go! Privatise them till they end bleedingly dried!

"Go! Privatise them till they are bleedingly dried!"

"Go! Privatise them till they are bleedingly dried!"

These are the words this writer think of in regards to the present situation involving mass transport in the Philippines. Given the fact that the government has been lax in solving public problems, transportation woes, and big profiteers willing to take over state-owned and controlled assets, privatisation is what being tackled much by today's bureaucrats wanting to downsize in exchange for sweetheart deals and kickbacks from the private sector.

But for most people whom endure the heat and rain in stations, privatisation mean additional cost of fares since the primary objective of the private sector is to gain profit. Public utilities such as MERALCO, MWSS, and Petron were once supported by the state, only to be bought out (or in case of MERALCO, reverted) by the private sector. And in it means further rising costs of services in regards to power distribution, water, and oil for transport; much more if these same profiteers wanting to take over rail-based mass transport from the state. The latter controlled LRT and PNR, while the MRT is under a joint venture under a "build-operate-transfer" scheme.

However, the state continues to toy with the idea bureaucrats had offered regardless of criticism. people may not understood this, but the State, or the system that controls the state discreetly cripples, mismanaging mass transport in spite of allocating its budget and its tie-ups with private profiteers. Masses, mainly students and workers are still struggling in heated conditions due to near-defected air conditioning if not waiting for at least half an hour with its trains having checked once in a while.
Worse, in spite of bragging, it did not spend money for restoring, improving, rehabilitating. That even the head of state, who obviously representing the compradore-landlord clique has been silent on the matter, but instead, has done is pour money for additional buses, which is wrong since roads are already flooded with cars, trucks, and buses in spite of schemes intended to control the flow of traffic like truck bans and number coding.

And because of these, ranging from traffics and other related issues, trains and improvement of rail-based mass transport are needed more than ever. If the system insist the motives of the compradores means excaberate traffic no matter how they justify it is. One would remember the railroad from Manila International Container Terminal to the main station at Tutuban been neglected decades ago due to buses, and now there are concerned citizens calling for reviving and improving for the sake of degongesting containers left at the terminal once and for all.

This writer find it sympathizing to those whom are clamoring for reviving the said railroad as well as additional trains and improving stations in LRT, MRT, and in PNR. What a shame if the system can't afford to resolve knowing that they have enough cash courtesy of 'foreign investments' and 'remittances' from the Filipino diaspora abroad; much more that it adds fury to the populace citing issues about corruption within the state bureaucracy. The state, sill clings to its initial standing of silence with some paper reforms being peddled off, with the latter that is obviously recommended by those wanting to keep the country weak in exchange for loans and rebranded as development. One of which is the dictates of the United States.
Speaking of the United States (sorry, but even Americans themselves disagree from intervening), with all the modern anemities the Americans had offered since the past, the Philippines, supposedly a communitarian society like those of its neighbours, rather ended chose to be a trying hard rugged individualist like its Star-Sprangled Master. The latter did utilise trains for moving products and people, but sadly it had been mismanaged as the profit-oriented private sector is silently crippling it in favor of cheap cars and trucks. The Philippines also had its 'share' of their idea by letting a massive influx of imported cars, trucks cripple mass transport like Trains and Tramway systems with the latter not been recovered after the war and waited for its 'revival' in the late 70s and in 80s.

And in spite of having mass transport like the Light Rail Transit (LRT), Metro Rail Transit (MRT), and the old but still reliable Philippine National Railways (PNR), the President rather said to the populace that massive traffic jams full of automobiles means moving forward and growing progress. Yes, that compradore folks wanted to gain profits in their selling automobiles rather than invest in maintaining and improving the entire railway network in the archipelago; and although nothing's wrong in having an automobile, sorry to say but Filipinos treat automobiles first as a source of self-pride than a means of transportation. So much for an American legacy to be consumeristic actually, buying for the sake of impressing than making things least easier.

But, since big private profiteers are willing to invest, this writer, along with those whom are concerned say that these companies rather wanted to invest for the sake of having more profits than providing services for the people. As noticed, that the MRT, a joint state-private entity faced major problems such as the lastest incident that resulted to a dozen people injured. But how about the LRT which is still under the hands of the state yet facing problems such as defective ticket dispensers, unused escalators and elevators?
There are indeed major problems in regards to the mass transport system in the Philippines, but the intention to mismanage or neglect these is an indication of the compradore-dominated state to have its fellow compadores take over for the sake of profit with high-priced tickets, or worse, to cripple it further with minsmanagment and negligence in favor of their real intention such as letting pride-obsessed people buy cheap automobiles no matter how increasing the cost of fuel it is. Lately, the Department of Science and Technology (DoST) had afford to create its own mass transit such as in UP Diliman and in Taguig, but since it is part of the system, does it mean the system will seriously invest in it (in spite fo its experimental stage) the way it afford to brag about rehabilitation and improvement of existing mass transit systems?

Well, in spite of efforts made by those whom are concerned, and to sum it all, bleeding anyone dry by a negligent state and a compadore hungry for increasing profits while disregarding efficiency and safety. Apologetics of the neoliberal order would wanted the latter to take over as if they are capable courtesy of their so-called 'jobs', that they are willing to endure getting bled dry just to have an expensive ride.

But for many, the more they bled dry, the more they uprise against a system that chose to have its services laissez faire to those who greedily wanting to profit from it. Privatizing public service means giving up its obligation to ensure the welfare of many, while trying to protect the itnerest of the moneyed few (or 'producers' as what Ayn Rand stated). That LRT, MRT, as well as the entire railway network is both a profiteering venture and a hindrance to their interest in the eyes of these compradores.