Partaking Public Perspiration

I am still aligning my sleep-wake cycle to my Rehabilitative Medicine rotation this March. The 24+8+8 hour 3-day routine was replaced by weekday office hour duties, stripping my receptions to Earth alive and resuscitating my long arrested civil opinion. I am not implicating here that my hospital job is a contraindication to having a personal life as it is my choice to deal with them separately.

I perceive the conventional Filipino to be extra disapproving. This trend which rooted from sporadic post-war stress disorder, grew into epidemic
depression-after-oppression and fruited to this pandemic attention deficit where every mind feigning reliability crave for more daylight exposure around EDSA, more seconds in the broadcast and more square centimeter in the newsprints. They gooseneck placards, burn effigies, fire words of sense and none, to the government which they have forgotten they are also part of. They have forgotten that the Republic of the Philippines is a nation supposedly by the Filipino people and that they have to take part perspiring some of its oils which is not all about swarming like bees from a harassed hive and jamming traffic down main streets. Democratic minds in evolution - if this post will be understood wrongly, this must be the explanation.

I will skip those who chipped in rallies to support personal finances and lay down this paragraph for those who went along for national cause. The truth is we loved to be spoon-fed by the government, which we consider our parent, and do public tantrums if our desires are not fulfilled. Because we did not receive outright reassurance, we felt being betrayed, thus added more pascals to the pressure the government has been parrying or padding itself. We edgely contributed to the paralysis of civic mobility. Aren't we guilty? No, of course! We are blissful of our rebellion. “We have been there, we have done that, and it's fun!” we sing to ourselves and publicly announce that we “concerned” citizens have done our part in “correcting” the erroneous government, as if we previously corrected the errors among us.

Here are versions of problems where somehow we People of the Philippines share faults with the officials of the government:

Case 1: Food shortage
Officials' share: The
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (created during Aquino era) – the fractioning of land to the low-funded, less agriculture and management trained, family-first-oriented soil toilers upshot to national food shortage and reliance on Thai and Vietnamese rice.
Public's share: We did not plan our family size. Pro life is not being just concerned by the living and what the living will eat now but what the living will eat in the coming years. Besides, those who were entitled of land grants sold them to subdivision realties and kept on rallying down Mendiola to get more share with the thought of free profit by selling it to awaiting factory builders. And those who left it tilled wasted great amounts of land and rice over experiments on fertilizers and insecticides, neglecting additional assaults to the environment to which our agricultural produce is dependent of. Where is our social sense of right and wrong? Our concern to what amount of rice will be left to feed the future? We only appeal to appease our churning stomachs, and worry less of other churning stomachs in some points in the Philippines, at some points of time.

Case 2: Corruption
Officials' share: The
Devolution (enacted during Ramos era) – the passing on of authorities to local leaders sponsoring the padrino system or modern day feudalism. Each applying public employee must be of the same political party of the governor or mayor. Each local venture must cut some percent of its low budget for the officials and must scream the lines: “This blah blah was completed through the efforts of Mayor Blah Blah...” Each huge affair must be permitted by local heads or left ineffective. Each public sponsorship such as social service aid for indigent hospital patients must bear the name of the congressman involved.
Public's share: We pampered these politicians by voting them, by picking them as Ninongs and Ninangs to our weddings, by tagging with their rallies or even campaigning for them. And finally kept eyes shut from their faults out of “
na loob
” or debt of gratitude. In so doing, we became the padrinos of the
padrino system in our locality.

Case 3: Low Standard of Education
Officials' share: The low teacher: student ratio, the shortage of school infrastructures, books and equipments, the low standard of teaching as projected by almost useless graduates is perennial in other areas in the Philippines. All attributed to the high cut off in education budget by higher officials and the devalued accreditation.
Public's share: Though Filipinos culturally are concerned of their young finishing their schooling, only a few are concerned what their children have actually learned from school. Basically, education of the young is in part a parental concern. Not all parents peeked through the mental works of their children. All their concern is to see the cross the stage in wearing black toga, holding a diploma and sending them money back for their “now finished parenting.”

Case 4: Frailing Health Programs
Officials' share:
There are still people who have not seen a doctor for life and dwells in areas far from the already called Rural Health Units. The government can not also raise descent salaries to draw back abroad going doctors and nurses due to lack of public funds, which can be attributed to low income tax which can not be raised due to meager individual income. For me the amount from Philhealth program is good enough based on the government's financial status.
Public's share: Please don't misquote me but human health is more dependent on heredity and individual discipline than public policies. We can not blame heredity. We just have to practice discipline. He who kept his fever for weeks, his flu for months or his cough for years without medical consult will less likely get immediate resolution. A lot of patient were brought to the ER were at the terminal stages of their illness. And most of them have diseases related to their chronic smoking and heavy alcohol drinking.

Case 5: Unhomely Public Housing
Official's share:
They government was only the end of blame for their self-made homelessness of these aspiring city dwellers and so the poor parent responded by creating housing projects and relocation sites. These were often build in rush with inconvenient facilities and set far from urban sprawl thus have a common side effect of driving these squatters away from their source of livelihood.
Public's share: Everyone clamored for a roof above his head but not all tried to find his own way to have it. Who told them to live the roof they were born and grew in? Who told them to settle to urban areas and build bamboo stilts over river banks and shorelines or assemble pieces of paper, wood and metal along railways, over dumpsites or under the bridge? And now they clamor for a descent roof.

We, the Filipino People who forms the Republic of the Philippines are part of its illness had to partake in its rehabilitation for national cause and not just nonsensically assemble down the main streets with self-importance in mind.

Reaction please.


  1. I received this on my email:

    Community based health programs’ call: End the GMA government!

    We, members of the Board of Trustees of the Council for Health and Development, the national organization of non-governmental community-based health programs (CBHPs) in the Philippines, express our disappointment and discontent on the morally bankrupt and illegitimate presidency of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

    We believe that seven years is enough. Throughout this period, diseases of poverty such as tuberculosis and other infectious diseases have increased. Health of the people is a low priority of the GMA government. Privatization of health services has deprived them more of much needed services.

    In communities served by the 62 CBHPs operating in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, thousands of families, including indigenous peoples’ communities, have been displaced by the unscrupulous mining operations of foreign big business with the sellout of the country’s national patrimony. In most cases, the intrusion into the countryside of these mining businesses is accompanied by military operations to silence opposition from affected communities.

    Greed for money and power can never be moderated for people like GMA and her minions. They are all out to protect and preserve the oppressive system. Brazen curtailment of human rights and extrajudicial killings amidst massive poverty terrorize innocent people who demand an end to deceit and oppression.

    Even health workers, health professionals, and CBHP advocates who continue to serve the impoverished population become victims of state terrorism and become easy targets for harassments and fatal attacks.

    The CARAGA region in Mindanao, which has the most number of PNP detachments, a community health worker named Mat Morales, of the Religious of the Good Shepherd was gunned down on January 26, 2006. Dr. Chandu Claver was ambushed in Kalinga-Apayao in July 2006 that caused the death of his wife Alyce and traumatized his daughter. In Misamis Oriental, another community health worker named Jerry Ladica was killed on July 27, 2007. In the same year in Nueva Ecija, the house of a community health worker was burned down. Men wearing bonnet and riding a motor cycle was the usual style of the culprits.

    Cases of police and military harassments have been reported by the CBHPs while in the conduct of community clinics providing health services to the community residents in the Cordilleras, Samar, Leyte, Davao City, Saranggani and many more communities. Names of the health personnel were forcibly asked and their pictures were taken by the police and military.

    The Filipino people deserves a government that truly looks after their well-being instead of one that uses governance for usurpation of wealth and power for its own benefit and a government that promotes their national interest over those of foreign big businesses.

    The Council for Health and Development and the CBHPs all over the country are one with the struggling Filipinos demanding for an end to the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo regime.

    Signed: Sr. Edita C. Eslopor, OSB

    Ms. Eleanor M. Nolasco, RN

  2. Consider this: Not all health services are privitize. There is always a well funded tertiary hospital in every region in the Philippines which can compete to any private hospital in the same area. The budget for each were however left to the deliberation of local officials. The problem such as these is happening in all regions and in almost all departments of the government. But notice it is your local leaders who cut funds. The LGU's and not the national governemnt are to be blammed.

  3. totoo. we will only get out of the vicious cycle if change begins with ourselves.

  4. Very interesting reading. For once not just ranting but actual substance. Understanding of our current situation is a step to finding a solution to the current predicaments that our country is facing. If every man and woman takes their role in the society responsibly then we perhaps we can move forward in the right direction.