Issue of March 29, 2020
     
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EDITORIAL

GOOD SAMARITANS IN TIMES OF CRISIS


If there’s anything notable of the coronavirus disease-2019 pandemic the world is facing now, it is about what a few good men and women could do to turn things around for the better.

These are the individuals and groups, who in their simple ways, are reaching out to the frontliners by giving them foods, and personal protective equipment, among other forms of assistance to further boost their morale in their fight against the spread of this unseen enemy. From the mainstream to social media, the acts of kindness and charity of these individuals and groups keep inspiring our already weary frontliners.

In La Trinidad, Benguet, people have witnessed several farmers leaving sacks of their produce open along the road and putting up signs: “Get what you need. It’s for free.” to passersby, despite suffering heavy economic losses themselves.

The story of a landlord, who showed kindness to his boarders, has voluntarily waived this month’s rental fees has also inspired his peers, as his action has caused a wave of compassion with other landlords following suit, leaving grateful tenants heaving a sigh of relief.

Various groups from other provinces who have kakailian students who were left stranded in the urban areas such as Baguio and La Trinidad, Benguet during the enhanced community lockdown, kept in touch with their kakailian for assistance. This includes the initiative of the various local government units, political leaders, and groups that connected to give aid to these students and working kakailian, most especially those living in rented homes.

Churches also stepped up in giving financial and food assistance aside from spiritual guidance to indigent families all around their respective communities.

In Baguio, several groups produce improvised personal protective equipment for our health workers and other frontliners, seeing the lack of supplies, as suppliers and other providers run out of stocks.

In other parts of the country, there are neighbors putting up signs on their gates not to receive relief goods in deference for those who need them most.

Kindness is indeed contagious; it is what is needed in these critical times. Let this be a reminder that good character prevails over any crisis. However, while people appreciate kind responses from private individuals and groups, all the more they need prompt response from the government.

With the emergency powers given to President Rodrigo Duterte under Republic Act 11469, giving him the authority to realign national budget and to allocate funds to provide for the 18 million low-income families by giving subsidies ranging from P5,000 to P8,000, we are hoping that this would truly transcend down to the needs of the Filipino people.

The various local government units, with their own emergency funds from their quick response funds have also started giving out food assistance to their constituents without too much requirements asked from citizens.

This is the time LGUs must be responsible in allocating five percent of their annual budgets specifically for disaster risk reduction and management in their areas of jurisdiction to ensure timely delivery of services and assistance to their constituents.

The quick response fund can now be tapped with the President’s declaration of the country under state of calamity.

It is now the time for the LGUs and the community to come together to help one another in this unprecedented crisis the world is grappling over.

At the end of this health crisis, it is the sense of community that rises up. We look to our leaders for guidance but we look out for each other, for we are each others’ keeper.

 

 

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