PAMPANGA

Pangan: Honoring all our heroes

At Close Range

WE SET aside one day (November 30) to honor our traditional heroes of old. We reminisce their good deeds and sacrifices for the freedoms we currently enjoy. We heap praises upon them for their significant contributions. We believe they deserve every tribute we extend them.

But our focus should now be on our modern-day heroes. We should set aside a particular day to honor them, probably a year and more to salute their self-effacing deeds for our countrymen.

The first heroes we need to honor are our overseas Filipino workers or OFWs. They sacrifice their time and allow themselves to be separated from loved ones for long periods of time in order to earn something to send back home. Their remittances definitely shored up our country's dollar reserves and economy and keep afloat their families.

Next to be honored should be the frontliners or medical workers who give their time and skills to attend to the Covid-19 patients; they, who risk their lives in order to care tirelessly to the victims. And yet, they are underpaid but overworked and the last to receive the perks and benefits accorded to other similarly-situated workers.

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With the sad lessons brought by huge floods in Cagayan, Isabela and Rodriguez, Rizal and other areas, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board will start requiring transport cooperatives, corporations and individual operators with at least 10 public utility vehicles (PUVs) to plant trees before they apply for new franchise or when renewing them.

This memo of LTFRB takes effect on December 1 yet but the damage done or inflicted on infrastructure and agriculture which runs into billions of pesos has all been summed up. Now, the government expects to solve its perennial flooding and landslides problem? I doubt it.

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The now active House of Representatives has summoned officials of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) and the local chief executives in Cagayan and Isabela to inquire on the damaging floods that submerged two provinces and parts of Metro Manila and Rizal during the rampage of typhoon Ulysses last week.

Fine, but what could this inquiry do except perhaps expose the ineptness of NIA and the local government unit officials who were caught incapable of handling disaster situations.

The blame game does not stop with the inquiry that the NIA is to blame for the release of water from dams which inundated the two provinces, Metro Manila and Rizal.

The blame game, at all levels, will not stop.


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