TALK AND TEXT, PLEASE
Mar-Apr 2019 Edition
TALK AND TEXT, PLEASE
The current scare on the possible Philippine delisting in the IMO White List is basically of reporting, of communications on proper format and designated timeframe.
Like due date is 2014, but 2019 already and we are still crafting the requirement. Press releases are lazy substitutes, like ostrich burying its head in the sand, believable only by the uninformed, in the first place.
We observe there has been pivotal and meaningful reforms --- except for constant changes, second thoughts, rushed circulars --- and swing doors for officials; worst, prolonged vacancy of leadership and expertise.
Let alone lack of planned working visits to the IMO and the Secretary General, instead of “seminars” at magical, tourist venues. Or lobbying only when things are already critical.
Perhaps, it is time that the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) be granted a charter to independently plot its course, isolated from the pitch and roll of politics and politicians. We are first to offer the idea and still stand by it.
Just like peace and order, businessmen want continuity and stability to be able to plan moves and investments. How can an industry grow in an environment of uncertainty?
Matured economies have stable bureaucracies, even criticized as the mandarins of public service. We use to have this when career Under Secretaries were the core of Government. This was unwittingly changed by then President F.E. Marcos in appointing the “cream of the best” who brought their own boys into the posting.
The practice worsened under the People Power phenomenon where just about anybody in EDSA was appointed over the elected, rebels over experts, loyalty prevailed over merits. The Yellow Fever has abated but the practice continued under subsequent administrations.
The musical chair is played in almost all departments, prominently in the security forces which have new commanders even before the incumbent is practically known. MARINA is no exception, heads falling as political grace ebbs. The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) audits confirm these body bags do not create stability in systems and implementations; even counter-productive in circulars traps set by grizzly insiders for favored upstarts.
Marino World admits our culture of tayo-tayo or sama-sama (us and we) may be risky for objective governance. Fact is, “volunteers” in MARINA were once hailed as heroes in the sense of payback to the community. They serve without pay as MARINA also cannot afford the world rate of maritime experts in assessment and audits.
Some even advanced the cost of governance from their own money.
But one by one, these volunteers were discredited, some unmasked for outright corruption or use of ranks for private gain, privileges for associates with business allied to maritime. Since there is no litigation nor judgment, we are left with bare rumors --- choose your belief based on facts you do not have or friendship you do enjoy.
Pres. Duterte has been using the military to move things, get the job done. There may be sense, but the probability of martial rule. But, Marino World will not speculate over speculations; our worry being this will solidify that hero culture --- that meaningful change cannot come from people; only from heroic greats --- as Spaniards, as Americans.
What is the relevance on these throwbacks of history? That there is a window of success if we just try and darn try. Let’s put our chips on the MARINA with its own charter.
What’s to lose? Nothing but our chain, says a jaded Red jargon.
And we will lose, if we don’t act. Anyway.