Gone haywire

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By Gingging Avellanosa-Valle

Bahin sang Bubay

Friday, January 17, 2014


THE problem really about how things are being handled by supposed people in authority in the areas where disasters seem to frequent nowadays are not the calamities per se. Calamities, natural or man-made are here to stay. These occurrences will always be there, whether we like it or not, and we are supposed to learn from each occurrence, so that the impact of destruction will be lessened each time.

The past few weeks after our ecosystem has seemingly gone haywire have proven once too often how the Filipino people are truly “resilient” in its truest sense. Some scenes covered by news hounds show that when the government continues to fail the people’s expectation, the Filipinos are not waiting idly by, but are actually doing something to help themselves, no matter it their efforts are seen by so-called authorities to be crude and dangerous.

One such effort that particularly struck me is that “make-shift” cable vehicle made out of some pieces of wood and steel somewhere in Davao Oriental when government authorities left it unfinished when the floods came. The cable “car” indeed was crudely made and perhaps, might not be firmly secured, but it has been used by the people to get across a rampaging river, to bring food to their families or find out the situation of their families across the turbulent waters.

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Indeed, the ingenuity and creativity of the people have been there, however, it is the failure of government authorities to acknowledge these qualities that brought forth misery and too much dependency among the people. We have got to face the truth, that government policies in many instances sucks to the highest level, because these has reduced the citizens to mendicants and “victims” instead of empowering communities to fend for themselves.

One reason could be the penchant of government authorities to feel “kawawa” so that humanitarian aid will flood public treasury and later stashed away to God-knows-where. Disasters upon disaster have shown us how things are being handled on the ground, each time a calamity strikes. But then again, it is “an open book”, so they say, and the Filipinos are well aware of it, that when a “state of emergency” is declared in a certain municipality or province, public officials are as quick as the batting of an eyelash in making every effort of showing it so.

And again, it is public knowledge that the international aid that has poured like torrents into the country for humanitarian assistance are not actually getting through the people’s upturned hands. These go directly into the deep pockets of the unscrupulous, the “bagaugnawongngawalayulaw” (shameless fools) who are enriching themselves out of the misery of their masters whom they have vowed to serve in office.

That is why many among us Filipinos would rather do what needs to be done, even if their efforts are belittled and even condemned by the powers-that-be. The humanitarian aids that are truly delivered to the affected communities have been brought by the non-government organizations that have continually and consistently assisted the communities. Sadly however, many among these organizations have been the subject of harassment and suspicion from the authorities.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 18, 2014.

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