Silver linings

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By Fe San Juan Hidalgo

Citizen Fe

Monday, May 26, 2014


AS A welcome relief from all of our country's woes, I exerted much effort to browse, read, and researched about these selected news which I will tackle in my column. The first is surely a welcome news for all of us. It is the rise of Tacloban after Yolanda's devastating effects. A cool sum of more than P20 billion has been given to the local government. The plan listed 12.9 billions for economic development and livelihood, 2.3 billions for infrastructures, 4.8 billions for shelter, 670 billions for social services, and 151.8 billions for the environment. For the whole Visayas region, the National Government has 130 billion pesos. I keep my fingers crossed that all of these will bear results. Please, no corruption should tarnish these noble plans.

The attention given to the rehabilitation of the children's needs is remarkable. The funds for rebuilding damaged school buildings, some razed to the grounds or worse totally gone were given by the government. Lately, the "Brigada Eskwela" program was started. All sectors of society, the call center agents, PNP, PA, civic groups, parents helped teachers and students in repainting, repairing broken desks, tables, cabinets, blackboards. Some cleaned the rubbish and wild plants in the school yards. They cleaned dirty canals. All are ready for the school opening in June. Mayor Duterte opened a "child minding center in Magallanes area. Here, mothers who work can leave their children ages 1 to 3. The center is good for 30 to 60 children. Caregivers and teachers give children activities as games, artwork or basic school lessons. The mayor plans to have a center in every barangay.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) had chosen Davao City as a beneficiary for its Sustainable Urban Transport System project. It will give aid for the highly organized bus system networks needed for the existing roads. It should be simple, integrated and flexible enough to adjust to the new land developments. Regular schedules of trips, loading and unloading points with enough signages for the information of the riding public. The public commuters and the drivers must understand the meanings of the signages as to the speed limits, roads to enter or not as to directions of traffic.

There might be reconstruction of infrastructure to ease the flow of traffic in busy thoroughfares. Overpasses and underpasses' construction might be resorted to enable the public to have more comfortable and shortened time in commuting. The citizens must be informed about the reforms and new policies and the social economic resurgence with a business development highly conducive to a broad-based growth.

Foremost in these events contributing to progress in our country is the choice of regional and international bodies to hold their yearly conventions in the Philippines. First is the Asian Economic Forum (AEC) and following shortly is the bigger World Economic Forum (WEF) held in Manila, May 21-23. The Asian Economic Forum organizing committee saw the Philippines as "Asia's Bright Spot," which stands firmly as the epicenter of the region's most exiting economies. It has a society, which is dynamic and sustainable and possessing the capacity to meet the challenges of climate change with resilience. It has strong macroeconomic fundamentals and is ready for the influx of investors here. The famous Filipino brand of hospitality is known worldwide. It is more fun in the Philippines is an ad speaking for itself. The Philippines is no longer the "Sick Man In Asia." Now, it is proud of its come on phrase, The "rising tiger economy of Asia." The country has also an intensified program to promote its tourism industry. The goal is to have 10 million tourists in the next two years. We have all the world famous tourism spots hereabout. We have the Mayon volcano in Albay known for its perfect cone, the mile long subterranean river in St. Paul's park in Puerto Princesa, Palawan listed as one of the modern wonders of the world, the Ifugao Rice Terraces in the Mountain Province listed as the world heritage spot; the world famous "Butanding," the giant whale shark in Donsol, Sorsogon otherwise a sleepy town is now a beehive for tourists who boosted its economy. Boracay Island and its famous shore lines with sugary white sand is a consistent top ten best beaches in the world. Aside, I am so happy to have seen them all with pictures I shot with my camera.

The World Economic Forum is my last item to expound on. As one of the greatest economic comeback stories, our country is expected to be the strongest performing country in the South East Asian economy in the year 2014 with a GDP growth of 6.5 percent. Transport network, energy, health, tourism, technology, financial services, and agriculture contributed to the success of the Filipinos to merit this compliment. The heads of 40 countries met in the forum and each one of them gave talks on how to enhance the broadening horizon of possibilities in the exchange of ideas on how economies of its own country can interact concerning reforms, policies, and social commitments for the emergence of a business environment highly conducive to broad- based growth among the participating countries.

All of these expositions are breaths of fresh air for all of us. They are the silver linings in our country; the "pearl of the orient seas."

For comments text cp no. 09202112534.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 27, 2014.

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