Thursday, March 10, 2011


We've had this installed for some time now. Our handyman Kuya Greg fashioned the thing out of salvaged wood that still cost us PhP500. I'll tell you the story.

So we called Kuya Greg over and discussed the matter of wanting to make a safety gate for the bottom of our stairs. He said he'll have to buy wood (dos por dos) for it so we gave him PhP500. Fast forward some days later, he arrives at our house to install the gate that he made. I had no problems with it because if you think about it, we saved a lot of money by getting one of these made rather than buying the ones sold at the mall. I noticed though that the wood that he used look kind of "off". It was uneven and had existing pocket holes.

When I asked why the wood looked like that, Kuya Greg told me "Kumuha lang ako ng kahoy sa (I forget where). Sabi ko yung natipid ko, pangbili ko na lang ng load." [Translation: I got free wood from (somewhere). I told myself that I'd just use whatever I saved to buy cell phone credits.] You know there is something wrong with this statement. It wasn't for him to decide whether to get cruder materials so he can keep the difference in costs. It just felt wrong and I felt shortchanged.

Malik is sad too.
What struck me most about this was that Kuya Greg found nothing wrong with the arrangement. I think he honestly thought that since he "saved" on materials by getting salvaged wood then he should keep the "savings" for himself. I did not have the heart to tell him that things don't work that way. Unfortunately, I would have to think twice now before calling him over if anything else needs fixing in the house.

The point of all this is, Kuya Greg may be sharing the same frame of mind as some people when it comes to "insertions" in the budget or procuring materials for projects, whether in the government or otherwise. We think that because it was our idea to "save" on costs then some benefit must inure to us. Worse, we do these brazenly, with a smile on our faces, thinking that we did everyone a favor by being so street smart. Let me tell you now, it's not the same. And it's sad that I have to put this in writing to say that loud and clear.


  1. i think you're actually right about this!
    sorry about your gate. we're considering putting safety gates also. i don't want to spend a whole lot so i'm prioritizing which areas need a gate the most. ;p

  2. Hi Yen! Isa lang naman ang stairs namin sa bahay so we didn't have to prioritize. Haha We hardly use the gate, by the way. Ate Bear's been very efficient in telling Malik where he's not supposed to go. He just stays clear of the area. Amazing.


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