Posted by julie @ 12:50 pm
Shelved under Me, My Thoughts, Philippines

Once again we have been subjected to harsh weather condition brought about by Habagat or Southwest Monsoon rains: inundating homes, displacing tens of thousands of families, destroying crops and properties as well as putting down the spirit because of the hardships that are going to be faced in the weeks and months to come.

We may have heard, read about and saw opportunists who have taken advantage of the situations of others to make a quick buck. we may have heard, read about and saw the Good Samaritans who give their helping hands without asking for something in return. We may have heard, read about and saw rescuers who put their lives in line in order to save lives.

Amidst all the disaster happening, the Filipino resiliency as well as the Bayanihan spirit is once again put to test.

I have put my thoughts in FB that during calamities like these, we see how much the Philippine population has grown, judging by the number of people we see in evacuation centers, stranded in their homes, and walking in flood waters. We see how it seems like so many Filipinos are so poor because they opted to live in near waterways, under bridges, beside rivers and in poorly zoned communities. We say that they should have known these areas are dangerous and why should they live there if that is the case. We see how difficult the lives of these Filipinos and we wonder how can they survive their living conditions.

I myself would probably not be able to understand even if I try to. The “familiar’ scenario of flooded homes and displaced families got me thinking about the Pork Barrel or PDAF.

We are being robbed of what should have been ours to have as taxpaying Filipinos.

The recent weeks had us feel rage about the billions of pesos pocketed by people elected to serve the us Filipinos by providing services that are due us that are supposed to be funded by the tax money we pay.

I wrote this in FB just the other day:

Pork barrel should have been used to: 

* unclog waterways
* improve infrastructure
* build sturdier bridges
* relocate people living near waterways
* buy more Doppler and Sat gadgets for weather monitoring
* used to build levees 
* buy rescue equipments
* etcetera, etcetera….

Instead billions of pesos just made a few hundred “honorables” and their kin rich with money that is not theirs to keep.

The context to which I wrote those words are based on the devastating effects of the still raging Habagat,

I have not included what that staggering amount of money can do to:

  • build classrooms and hire more teachers to teach our children so that they don’t have to work to help their families (and adults as well)
  • help farmers increase their production to avoid buying from other countries
  • help people have homes that are not too expensive with roofs that will stay when the storms come
  • build farm to market roads to help the agricultural sector
  • fund projects like small businesses that will help make lives easier in the years to come

I am sure there are so many more practical ideas that are not just feasible but doable to be able to help Filipinos improve their lives.

I like to believe that we Filipinos are not lazy.

I like to believe that we Filipinos are not dependent on dole outs and remittances from relatives working overseas because given the chance to prove ourselves and to be able to improve our lives, we know we can rise above the challenge and prove ourselves worthy.

I like to believe that given the proper means and avenues, we Filipinos will be able to have better lives and living conditions not only because we will work hard for achieve these goals but because we will do these things not only for ourselves but for the generations to come.

But how will we achieve these goals of being able to make our lives better when we are not given the chance to do so because the means to achieve such goals are pocketed by people who fuel the greed of corrupt elected officials?

For every thing we buy, we pay taxes. For every earnings we bring home, taxes are deducted. Taxes that should have been used to fund projects to keep us safe and educated among other things.

I may not understand how “things” work but in my heart I know that we should not have been victims again and again by devastation and blows from nature and from people who are also called Filipinos but rob us of the dignity to have decent lives.

 

This entry was posted on Thursday, August 22nd, 2013 at 12:50 pm and is filed under Me, My Thoughts, Philippines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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