GOOD AND BAD NEWS
A mountaineer fell off the cliff in Batangas. What baffled the investigators is the loss of his belongings. It has been said that the mountain climber fell from a 300 feet height and all his things may have scattered due to the impact. I remember a taxi cab that was swept in Blumentritt, Manila a few years ago. The cab driver was thrown out from his car due to the impact when the on rushing train trampled his vehicle. As soon as he landed unconscious, a lot of people milled in the area. Result: when the police and rescue team arrived he was already a picture of nudity. Everything in his body was frisked and taken away, even his vehicle was almost drained of its spare parts. The same is true on cases of accidents and the one who fell off the mountain must have undergone the same frisking routine by passersby. I remember an adage: Birds when alive eat ants. In return, ants eat birds when dead.
A lot of candidates barnstorming communities to court votes are already reaching the final limits of their comfort zones. Almost all candidates are complaining that their complexion is already affected. They must wave at the crowd during the convoy. They must also gate crash any place where people are milling. Some would even knock at doors like those selling “special offers.” This is on the belief that for every hand that they have shaken, for every leaflet distributed, for every tarp installed for every onlooker who saw them would be translated into votes.
Candidates everywhere must have to struggle and overcome a lot of obstacles. They must scrimp and spend a fortune. They must haggle and wear a smile all throughout. They should never be seen as snub or high profile, they must be perceived as one of the masses. They should even look like one of the great unwashed. Their lives are on the line and the threat is more real than imagined. The danger is not only political, not only feudal, not only social but also ideological. This is all because they wanted to serve? But service means that one should not traverse a road on harm’s way. Why lay down so much sacrifice? What is the real score here?
This is good news for retiring government personnel. Under Budget circular 2013-1 dated April 12, 2013, government retirees will receive their retirement perks, gratuities and other benefits within 30 days from their actual date of retirement, provided all necessary requirements are submitted 90 days prior to that date. It is therefore prudent for those who are about to retire, to seek assistance from their office three months before they retire to work on the paper works for submission to immediately facilitate the release and issuance of the benefits pursuant to the budget circular.
The good news is that the country is moving higher and improving economically says World Bank. The bad news is that economic growth over the past six years hardly made a dent in poverty incidence. This can be gleaned on the percentage of Filipinos living below the poverty line remained practically the same between 2006 and 2012 official statistics showed.
While it is not a sin or a crime to be poor, because poverty actually is a choice, much like a simple life, poor governance and a corrupt regime leads to a sinful state or a period ripe for criminality. Brazil was very similar to the Philippines years ago. Poverty is almost a vocation. But Brazil’s president, Luis Ignacio da Silva, better known in his country as Lula, changed how it should be. It has been said that Brazil is “one country that leaped out of the emergency room, turning from terminal to robust, eradicating poverty by half in less than a decade”, considering the fact that it is fifth the largest country in the world next to the United States. Lula’s way of applying governance made it happened. There is hope therefore and this is largely on the manner we choose our leaders.
The good news is that on May 13, we will choose our leaders. We must know who will save us from destitution. There should be a “Lula” somewhere campaigning out there. The bad news is: If none could measure up to a standard, then better do something productive on election day than waste your time.