I’m trying to understand the culture. Below are three summaries of news stories. I don’t know what parts of what seem to me to be an inexplicable series of events is culture and what parts are because of corruption.
1) A barangay is the smallest political administrative unit, it’s like a ward or village or neighborhood. The Waterfront Resort Hotel (which is miles from the water) is in Barangay A. Barangay B is claiming they should administer it because the hotel is closer to B’s barangay office than A’s office and that the hotel’s trash is picked up by the company that does B’s trash. Officials from barangay A point to 40 year old surveys done by the city when the barangays were defined that clearly show the hotel belongs to A.
No, it wasn’t laughed out of court, government officials are looking into it.
2) Pizza is served at a gathering, everyone who ate it gets sick. An official complaint is made so the pizzaria is investigated by the health department. They discover that the store and the others in the small chain have been operating for years without most of the required permits. The chain is closed.
High official in health department makes the case in the press that the stores should be allowed to reopen without permits because the department allows food service places to make their initial opening without permits, expecting that the permits will be quickly granted.
3) At the year’s biggest beauty pagent one of the minor prizes is awarded based on the people’s vote via text message. Cell co. rep gives results to minor flunky who alters them and gives it to the master of ceremonies. Girl who finished in 2nd place is announced as the winner and everyone else is dropped a place. Cell rep objects but nothing happens.
A few days later the family of the real winner has all the facts and demands the ‘error’ be corrected. They are ignored. The family escalates and the press likes a juicy story. Eventually the family calls for the head of the relevant city department to be tried for dereliction of duty.
Mayor has been out of town for months because of illness. Acting mayor says this will be resolved when mayor returns. He returned, called the minor official an asshole and said the girl who was unfairly awarded first place should be given a citizen of the year award because she kept her mouth shut during the whole mess.
No one disputes that the first place finisher was robbed. Both the press and city have nothing to say about the prize and title being taken away from the bogus winner and given to the real winner.
It doesn’t seem to matter that the department head has ties to the modeling agency that represents the bogus winner.