Aside from that president who MAY have had noble intentions, some other government officials offer their legs wide open to investors because of the scent or stench of green paper bearing the faces of noble people who are now dead and cannot protest that their images are being used for global pimping.
It would be wrong though to completely shun industrialization. No country can survive without some measure of industrialization. I know I can’t survive without it. I don’t have a green thumb because the color is concentrated in some other area in my body and animals freak out at the mere sight of me. That means I cannot survive planting camote and raising hogs. The only work I can do is the kind performed in an industrial office.
This year, thousands of workers like me were given the chance to get decent industrial jobs when Korean company Hanjin Heavy Industries began construction on the $2 billion shipyard in Tagoloan and Villanueva. The complex would have covered 441.8 hectares of land and would have been the 4th biggest shipyard in the world. It would have offered 40,000-45,000 jobs and would have contributed P4.6 billion every year in salaries and wages alone.
Why am I using “would have”? Make a guess. I dare you.
This piece of news should’ve sent skilled workers and office bound souls singing Hallelujah and jumping like jumping beans. Just last week though, there have been reports that the construction machines have grown silent. There is even some speculation that Korean travel bags and suitcases are well on their way to
It seems that the project has been indefinitely shelved. Depending on which horse’s mouth you are listening to, the nominees for the reasons behind the project cancellation are: Hanjin’s lack of environmental and building permits, NPC billing problems, lack of PEZA permit, landownership issues, the mauling of a Hanjin employee and resident relocation problems. Hanjin director Myung Goo Kwan summarizes everything by simply citing “negative publicity” and “numerous adversities”. Those phrases are alternatively spelled “politics” and “bureaucracy”.
Those of us who have been living in this corner of the world know better. We know that public statements are often sugar coated, glazed or caramelized! Statements that are made public are just the tip of a ship-sinking iceberg and that deeper, darker, smellier secrets lie below clean-looking water.
Being the promising scoundrel that I am, my underworld minions who populate dark dens at night have brought me bits and pieces of the hidden bottom of the iceberg. Since I cannot afford to be sued for libel, I cannot reveal the speculative stories surrounding the Hanjin fiasco. Let’s just say that the media and the politicians are not mentioning everything they know about missing cash, substandard relocation sites, red-faced locals barking up the wrong tree, conversations under government tables and an an enraged madam who took to spanking her dogs for letting go of a bone in pursuit of a bigger phantom bone (see Aesop’s fables).
As of this article’s writing, some PETS (acronym for petty sycophants) are under investigation. Officials from high above are also said to be in a mad scramble looking for ways to kiss Korean feet, or some other body parts, without appearing to do so and without appearing to insult Korean principles. If the officials fail at fawning, the people of Misamis Oriental will be left with nothing but a gaping hole in time and space where 45,000 workers should’ve been working for food on their tables.
I’m on the edge of my seat. I wonder if the next episode will be “Return of the Investors” or “Penitent Pets”.
*Photo credit: GearX