Sunday, October 25, 2009
Furor over the word "nabubulok"
First of all, I would like to state for the record that I also find it annoying when people "shoot the messenger" rather than engage the issues head on. A blogger posted her story about how the DSWD is taking its own sweet time in distributing relief goods to the victims of the two typhoons that hit us recently. Read her post here.
The blog item soon found its way into mainstream media. As can be expected, the item got sensationalized. It had, after all, the elements that make for screaming headlines and catchy soundbytes. There's the possibility of incompetence. There's the possible angle of corruption. There's the possible link to some nefarious political schemes.
A visibly offended DSWD Secretary has denied the allegations of the blogger. She took exception to the comment "nabubulok." She has a point there. Wala nga namang nabubulok dun sa mga pictures na nakikita sa blog.
But the blogger has clarified what she meant when she used the word and she has gone on record to say that she did not see any perishable good rotting in the DSWD warehouses. She said that she used the word in a figurative way as in nakatambay, hindi gumagalaw. She said she didn't use the word to mean inaagnas.
It is sad that the whole issue has been reduced to a debate over the use of one word. I've been there many times. There really are people in this world who have no qualms about using that old trick of rebuttal - zero in on one error or fact and use it to attack the factual basis of the rest of the piece. For example, one can write an expose supported by tons of empirical data only to see the whole case being demolished like a house of cards because the writer misspelled one name. Of course the whole thing can be avoided if the writer made sure to check everything and I am sure Ella (the blogger) would have reconsidered the use of that word nabubulok had she known that her post would create such a furor.
Now that Ella has clarified what she meant, perhaps DSWD can now get its act together and distribute those goods.
I know that the DSWD really has warehouses full of relief goods at any given time. They stock these items in preparation for calamities. The thing is, the relief goods that Ella has referred to were specifically donated for the typhoon victims - so they must go to the intended beneficiaries. It is called accountability.
There is only solution to the whole mess. It is simple. The DSWD should move to distribute those goods as soon as possible.