Sunday, July 3, 2011

‘PAJERO 7’ AND THE PCSO’S MONOPOLY ON CHARITY


I’m surprised how little the ‘Pajero 7’ issue, where it was revealed by the Commission on Audit that seven bishops were recipients of Pajeros given by the PCSO, was used by the pro-RH bill crowd in order to discredit those bastards in the Church. Even so, I think it goes to show how it could be harmful to associate causes with certain groups (CBCP as anti-RH bill), because it gets in the way of dealing with the issues and principles involved. It makes it seem as though the only opponents of the RH bill are bible-toting hypocrites, when in fact, the notions of ‘reproductive health’ as administered by the state and as means of reducing poverty go against sound economic principles.

But more importantly, the ‘Pajero 7’ fiasco should get people to thinking of alternatives to the PCSO, which is practically a monopoly on charity, and gaming (it in fact uses charity as a pretext for controlling the ‘gambling industry’). At present, it is inconceivable to most that the much-beloved lotto would be organized by private organizations, so the focus is merely on holding a monopoly accountable. The better solution would of course be for such discredited agencies to be replaced by more able competitors who use transparency as a selling point. By eliminating government monopoly, it is those charity organizations that best cater to the charitable impulses of people, rich, middle-class and poor alike, that would succeed and provide ‘bang for buck’ for both benefactor and beneficiary.

The lotto would be sufficiently funded if there remains confidence in such a system, and markets aid in verifying such confidence by giving people more options as to where to place funds. The ‘Pajero 7’ controversy would not matter too much if the PCSO were a private organization; it would simply go bankrupt and other charities and gaming companies would succeed in its stead.

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