Canlas: 'It's not in our stars'

AS IS the tradition, the mouthpiece recounts the achievements of the administration by year's end as well as the prospects for the ensuing one. Of course, the social media-based drumbeaters, composed largely of second-rated showbiz personalities paint an even rosier picture. Anyway, every administration has its own version of rehearsal to please and excite the governed.

In fairness, the performance of the administration in certain vital areas of nation building needs no town-criers. It speaks for itself. In social services, for instance, the free tuition in state-owned colleges/universities is a milestone for the Philippine educational system. This windfall will enable children of low income families to secure tertiary courses upon compliance with Ched-prescribed implementing rules and regulations. Hopefully, this opportunity to avail fully-subsidized college education will level up the playing fields for landing a good-paying job, here or abroad. It will also enhance the competitive advantage of Philippine labor force to fill the skills needs of foreign employers.

In public works, the massive construction/rehabilitation of transport infrastructures, e.g., expressways, light railways, subways and domestic airports, with the end to inter-connect the major islands of the Archipelago has already commenced or in the pipeline. Such infrastructural development will inevitably speed up countryside agro-industrialization as a consequence in the facility for transporting industrial equipment and machineries. Moreover, inter-connection will enhance agricultural productivity and food security as well as a faster and balanced distribution of goods and services nation-wide, not to mention the jobs generated.

Also, worth-mentioning is the increase in the number of recipients of financial assistance, particularly among indigents of the elderly. Although, the delivery of much-needed medical and health-related services calls for improvement. Along this end, a barangay-based medical dispensation, e.g., two-bedroom clinic, to extend first aid in emergency cases will go a long way in saving precious life, especially to senior citizens.

On the issue of peace and order, the relentless campaign against criminalities, is earning dividends, notably in the war on prohibited drugs. It appears that the lack of a crime-busting initiative at the barangay level emboldens criminal offenders to attack in broad daylight. Anyhow, the perceived unrestored competence and trustworthiness of the PNP as an institution still remains the stumbling block towards the attainment of an enduring peaceful and orderly Filipino society. This is indeed unfair to the not few dedicated and honest police officers.

Yet, it must be remembered that the building of a peaceful, progressive and equitable society is not entirely dependent on infrastructures. Nor does it rest "in our stars." First and foremost, national development requires: 1) dedication-a wholehearted commitment to do one's calling to achieve optimum positive results; 2) determination-the fortitude to pursue one's calling in the face of "humps and hills" that stand along the way to reach the end goal. Apung Dadong, my benefactor, calls it "flaming determination" to forget giving up when the going gets tough; 3) vision-that reverie from within that enables the dreamer to perceive something not actually visible, as through keen foresight; and 4) civic consciousness -- such human quality that obligates a member of a community to discharge the moral and legal duties of citizenship. In fine, by simply help keep the community clean, peaceful and productive through: proper disposal of garbage; reporting to the authorities any unlawful activities in the neighborhood; and making our backyards productive, to mention a few. Most of all, let us not sell our votes. And so, let us disabuse our minds in entrusting our destiny "in our stars." But let us continue gazing at them to inspire us.
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