Wednesday, November 13, 2013

"Criticisms" on the President's handling of the situation post-Yolanda is a Call to Action. Not Spreading negativity.

Watching Christiane Amanpour's interview with President BS Aquino, it appears with the way the president responds, he is more concerned in looking good and passing the blame on local government.

Playing the blaming game card is nothing new for the president. From Day one post Yolanda until now, the country has yet to hear the president inspire us instead of doing the usual blaming. Meanwhile, there are many first hand accounts of Yolanda survivors complaining that relief goods still not reaching their own towns despite the numerous relief goods and foreign aid coming in as cited by the president in his address to the nation the other day. The private sector actually gave their overwhelming support to the president by mobilizing to obtain relief goods but almost a week after the powerful storm, the national government is moving without urgency despite admitting the failure of local government mechanisms. I was even expecting the president to at least make an appeal to transport services (airlines and shipping) to lower fares at least for people going out from Leyte and other severely affected areas.

Then there are other reports (it is unclear whether they are true or not) of looting, shooting and even rape. And these sad news of politics playing a role even in the distribution of goods.

Now tell me, is it wrong to voice out these concerns, complain, or call out the government in avenues such as social media? Others consider this as "criticizing" or "spreading negativity". For me it is more of calling the attention of the government or calling the president's attention. It is more of a call to action. a wake up call. And we have that right to do so. We have the right to demand this from our government. I don't consider this to be bad. In fact it is better to pressure them to move fast especially when lives are at stake.

Others say, complaining in your own Facebook account does not reach the president so it has no effect. On the contrary, a lot of the president or the government's actions and reactions lately were a response to social media pressure.

Others contend we should just shut up and help instead by way of actually donating goods and perhaps going to the areas to distribute the relief goods to affected areas. But do you think these relief goods will reach these areas without the help of government especially at these dangerous times? Security, law and order is government's responsibility and no matter how many goods we manage to collect, it will be very difficult to distribute equitably these goods or give medical services to hungry individuals without government's help. So yes, we have to be noisy to wake the president up and inspire the government to move fast. Isn't this also another form of helping?

Can we just remain silent as more of our countrymen die of "preventable" causes? Yes, preventable because they were supposed to already survive the supertyphoon, but just because no food and water reached them, they will just die? We are not even mentioning the threat of tetanus, leptospirosis and diarrhea.Can we remain silent with the threat of chaos?

Some would say, give the president a break because being a President is not easy. Tell that to the Yolanda victims without food and water. It's not easy being in their situation without food and water to feed themselves and their families. On top of no shelter. And some dead loved ones for some.

You know what would makes things even more difficult for these victims? Feeling that the government abandoned them.

Now tell me, should we remain silent?