Issue of November 4, 2018

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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Bash no more, please!
Bashing has unfortunately permeated the Cordilleran culture. Bashing online or uttering insensitive words to people, at times in the guise of jokes, have started to become ordinary for Igorots. This is quite alarming.

The reactions of several individuals, especially on social media during the tragedy brought by Typhoon Ompong in September, have put into light their questionable behavior. An example is the way some netizens reacted about the visit of Vice President Leni Robredo in Itogon, Benguet to show compassion for the victims’ families.

A lot made harsh remarks, including the people who are known as peace-loving individuals. It is also disheartening because these have further caused misunderstanding and aggravated disagreements.

Have we forgotten our values just to follow the trend? Why do we have to allow the differences in our political ideologies to bash people? This should not be tolerated.

In school, learners are educated to be polite with people who do not share their views. They are told to listen first then express their own views to come up with the best possible way to resolve an issue or settle disagreements.

In using the social media, learners are constantly reminded to think twice before clicking, posting, or commenting.

Learners, however, will find it hard to imbibe these values taught them when they see on social media actions or expressions that contradict the things they learn in school.

It has become even more difficult if in the communities that they live in, the people they know, talk with, and look up to are the ones who do the wrong things.

The responsibility to educate the young, particularly in inculcating values is a shared one. IT is every matured individual’s responsibility to teach the young positive values by showing them the example.

For us Cordillerans who are peace-loving people and who settle difference through diplomatic means, let us retain this positive attitude.

Let us be role models and show the best examples to be emulated by the younger generation.


Atrocities of calamities
Pagasa forewarns us of the coming of typhoons, which we believe builds the confidence of people in the weather agency because of its forecasts.

The creation of the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in every region and municipality is also laudable. This council is in charge of initiating proactive measures to lessen the impact of catastrophic events to the people and their properties. This council conducts emergency response, support trainings, hold activities that enhance readiness and survival skills allowing individuals to equip themselves and be disaster resilient.

While the government is taking actions to prepare people during disasters, there appears to be a continued ambiguity on how government programs on disaster resilience are aligned with the implementation of infrastructure programs meant to strengthen that resilience.

This ambiguity can be seen in substandard infrastructure projects. The questions remain: does good governance exist and have we been successful in eradicating corrupt practices in the bureaucracy?

These days, the Kalingas’ core values of “paniyaw,” “ngilin,” and “fain,” for example, are no longer religiously observed. Most natives appear to gradually accept the malpractices of those in power. They allow government projects to be implemented regardless of what they may become. The locals seem to be indifferent and do not run after corrupt individuals by suing them.

Moreover, the “lagay” system continues to creep in the bureaucracy.

Also, the features of “the tragedy of the commons” – the situation that employs extraction of resources until the intended use of a beneficial project tend to be useless – is evident.

There is also a continuous lapse of judgment among public servants and officials; each one taking his share – from the “big man” to the rank-and-file.

Man’s greed has resulted in man-made disasters and aggravated the exposure of man to natural calamities leading to death and destruction of properties.

Substandard projects expose people to harm, instead of making them disaster resilient.

We have seen the consequences of man’s greed during the onslaught of recent typhoons, in which we witnessed the suffering of numerous victims of calamities.

We therefore appeal to genuine public servants to speak of the truth by exposing anomalies in the name of good governance.

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