Editorial: Giving P100 to a kid

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

IT'S amusing how an innocent answer by a kid to hosts of a TV program days ago could end up forcing a governor to make an awkward response.

But the kid, Juan Karlo Labajo, may have touched a raw nerve when he said Gov. Hilario Davide III gave him P100 in financial help for his stint in “The Voice Kids Philippines” show over ABS-CBN.

Labajo, a resident of Consolacion town, was a finalist in the first season of the show, which featured kids as contestants and coaches that further honed their talent and was won through voting by viewers. The contest proper was held in the TV station’s studio in Metro Manila.


Apparently, the Labajos had sought the help of government officials and private sponsors to defray the cost of travelling from Cebu to Metro Manila and back and the expenses for their stay there. It was Juan Karlo’s grandmother who went to Davide.

The grandma either did not explain well to the governor what the competition was all about or perhaps she did but the governor didn’t get it. She ended up receiving what Davide usually gives to folks who visit him and ask for help.

“Many people come to my office to ask for financial assistance and I give,” he told reporters, noting that he could have given the grandma the last money in his wallet.

“Gamay ra gyud intawon,” he admitted.

Two points there: one, that being a government official drains your personal resources, which is often the complaint of politicians about their relationship with their constituents and voters; and, two, that the contestants of the singing competition may have been unfairly treated by the show’s organizers.

Davide is in his first term as governor and must have realized by now what veteran politicians learned: that you need to accumulate money when you go into politics. More so if you are already an elected public official.

As for the organizers of the singing competition, which is a nationwide search, the understanding is that they should spend for whatever expenses would be incurred by the contestants. The show made oodles of money from sponsors and advertisers mainly because of viewers’ interest in the contestants—-propping up its audience share rating.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 07, 2014.


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