Ever since the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas rolled out the new five-peso coins late last year, it has been criticized for its uncanny similarity with the current one-peso coin–a design flaw that has caused confusion among the people who use it. The flaw was very relevant that it even arrived to the Senate, with Senator Nancy Binay asking for a temporary halt in the release of the new coin.
Like a lot of other initiatives and projects in the country made by the government and the people alike, the new coins were poorly planned. It may be ironic how such a small object could escalate to such alarming prominence, but that’s just what happens if careful thought was not emphasized enough when designing and planning it. The new coins are a relatively small nuisance, but it already mustered quite the commotion. What happens if larger projects with more reach and focus go awry due to poor planning?
The Dengvaxia controversy also showed faulty actions from various government organizations and where it came to a point that the government officials were pointing fingers at each other on who was really at fault. The vaccine was administered to 800,000 students who were at risk of contracting dengue, over 40 students were hospitalized while 10,000 students are currently at risk of contract the disease. The students were treated like guinea pigs for an experiment at a lab as there were insufficient study that was made by the government before launching the nationwide program.
The Tax Reformation for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) bill has recently been approved and signed by President Rodrigo Duterte where taxes from citizens’ incomes are shifted onto specific consumption of goods and services. Although the government says that the bill will increase the economic growth and the government revenues, many experts disagree with this. Other experts claim that the growth of the economy may become stagnant since the citizens have more take-home income and the consumption of everyday goods have, therefore they will be discourage in spending. They also labeled the bill as anti-poor.
Meanwhile, the new light rail trains for the MRT, which were procured by the previous administration, have been idle for the past two years. The first of the 48 trains was tested and failed because it was too heavy for the rails. Not only that, but the transfer of maintenance responsibilities to an unprepared contractor was also enacted. Since then, problems of the MRT have compounded. Rush hour commuters today suffer with few running trains, unexpected unloadings, and endless queues. Plans may have been set, but negligence of the fine details of execution, set the demise of the MRT.
Poor government planning can lead to serious consequences such as great inconvenience, illness or death, or problems arising in the economy. When planning, government organizations and officials should consider all the stakeholders involved, get experts from different areas and fields to pitch in their professional opinions, and consult with the public before implementing the change.
Although government planning can be quite difficult especially when a lot is at stake, more time and thought should be put in the planning process as controlling a negative effect once a decision has been implemented can be more troublesome and expensive as to preventing it from happening in the first place.
Maybe, just maybe, our country may be in a more developed state if the government would be more meticulous and thorough in planning the changes they wish to implement to the public.