If You’re Not Outraged, You Are Misinformed

The coronavirus pandemic has cut a number people from their livelihoods leaving them all dependent on what the government provides. And at last, the people are slowly seeing the handwritings on the wall pointing to the incompetency of the Philippine government. However, we still have a long way to go as there are still loyal followers of the Duterte administration who are greatly misinformed, and continuously spreading fake news and false beliefs.

If you’re one of these people, I urge to read this article first to understand the impact of the coronavirus on the middle and lower class sector of the Philippines. If not, then I hope you READ THIS ENTIRE ARTICLE before you come at me with your torches and pitchforks!

“Puro nalang kayo reklamo!”

It’s been days since the president has been granted special powers to address the health crisis, yet we still have to hear the plans for the Php 275 BILLION that came from the taxes of over 109 million Filipinos, you included. People are starving and the hospitals are lacking medical supplies to fight against the pandemic. People are dying even when they don’t have to be if only the Php 275 Billion was immediately and rightfully used.

If the people are not receiving relief goods and kits from the government, then where is this huge amount of money going? The hard earned money that you and your parents have worked for that’s being deducted from everyone’s salaries each month, instead of going to the feed the mouths of the poor, shelter the homeless and heal the dangered lives of the people, it may have been placed to the pockets of corrupt officials that you are defending.

Assuming that there are still no plans for the Php 275 Billion until today, then why was the president even granted these special powers if there was no initial concrete plan? This shows greed and incompetency. Assuming that the government is already “silently” using the money without the public’s knowledge, then this shows lack of transparency. If they’re using the money for good, why would they choose to hide it?

A Php 275 Billion budget and this is the only thing that they can manage to give? Can you honestly say that a family can be nourished and well fed by this alone? And these government leaders still have the audacity to put their names on these pathetic relief goods to campaign as if we should be thankful when the people should be receiving much more than this.

“Ano ba ang ambag mo sa bayan?”

We all pay our taxes. Where do you think the government got the Php 275 Billion? Instead of looking forward to the equal distribution of goods, People are now relying on the donations by their fellow Filipinos instead of the government. As much as I love and admire the bayanihan of our fellowmen, it is only a matter of time before we all exhaust each other’s limited resources.

We need the proper allocation of funds! That money is supposed to be used to sustain the lives of each and every Filipino especially in the face of a pandemic. Where is it now? This is the time to question the government! It is time to seek for transparency rather than simply having faith that the government is doing unseen actions. Because if not, how will we know? How would you know that the government is doing something when they are not honest with the expenditures of the budget? Only trust government officials who have actual proof and have showcased their service.

The only way to question the government is if you speak about it. That’s what we’re trying to do here. Silence and simply “following through” orders will never solve anything. Do you think our national hero attained independence by staying silent? His death itself taught us about nationalism which means loyalty and devotion to the nation, not to the president.

“Where are we going to get our food when you arrested our husbands? Nowhere? They’re our only hope to provide food for our family. You don’t have the right to arrest them!”

These people went out of their homes to ask for food from the local government. If the relief goods reached to them or if it were enough for their families, would they still go outside and beg for food? No. Did they want to go outside and get arrested? Of course not! But where else are they going to get food that they can feed their families with? How will they be heard and their conditions be seen if they let themselves sit silently and starve to death inside their homes? If we don’t speak about it, who will?

“Edi ikaw na ang maging presidente!”

The issue at hand here is not who should be the president, rather what the president should be doing. But since you guys brought it up, I sure as hell would’ve enacted an immediate travel ban, overseen the equal distribution of goods, resourced enough medical supplies for the health workers, implemented mass testing, focused on medical solutions rather than military actions, and I definitely wouldn’t have threaten killing ANY of my constituents. But then again, that’s just me.

Anyway, Sure, the president may have been doing something (whatever that is) but his lack of urgency has turned his citizens into beggars who risk their lives going to local governments to ask for food, yet the president reduces his people’s plea as an attempt to start ruckus, threatens to shoot them for having no choice but to disobey quarantine protocols and imprisoning breadwinners claiming that they should feed themselves if ever detained. HOW?!

Instead of helping his citizens and providing immediate relief goods, the president chooses to shoot hungry civilians who demand just and equal distribution of goods.

Criticizing the government comes from the intention of wanting something better simply because we deserve better. Satisfaction from the bare minimum and having blind faith on leaders who have a history of incompetency, will not do anything. The moment he decided to carry on the name of the president, was the moment he took on the responsibility for the lives of every Filipino. Therefore, there should be accountability for every lives lost under his pathetic administration.

“Masyado kayong nega!”

The reality is, us Filipinos, have been used to a low standard of public service. That is why being given the bare minimum seems such a huge deal, that we should be grateful to be given receive anything at all from our public officials. When in reality, we should be receiving so much more than Php 250 worth of goods and overpriced healthcare. After all, People who work for the government are called “Public Servants” because it is their duty to serve the nation. They are not Gods to be idolized.

By saying that we should be “grateful” with the bare minimum, not only are you enabling an unjust system, but you’re also reducing your worth as a citizen of this country. “Thinking positively” is an idealistic way of thinking that accomplishes nothing, and a privilege that is only available for those who can afford to be ignorant. If you’re put in a position where you and your family have absolutely nothing to eat or that you work 16-hour shifts risking your life at the hospital for only Php 500, are you certain you’d still be able to see the brighter side?

The only thing that people are clinging on to is hope, hoping for the kindness of our neighbors and the service of decent public officials. But even this is discouraged by repressors who are threatened by real and urgent public service because it raises the standards that we have grown accustomed to, igniting our desire to be treated rightfully. It goes to show that even in the face of a pandemic, crab mentality still prevails among these corrupt officials.

This is not about being a “leftist” or whatever labels because at the end of the day, all of us are affected by the pandemic, all of us are made a fool and left to fend for ourselves. We are all victims of this unfortunate circumstance but the reality is, things would’ve been different if our leaders urgently decided to choose the best interest of the nation.

This is about standing with your fellowmen and being compassionate with the pains of each Filipino that we are outraged by the unequal treatment for ourselves and for our neighbor, and collectively demanding the service that the nation deserves. We are educated by our parents to think critically, not to simply rely on basic reading comprehension. Lastly, this country wasn’t built upon the blood, sweat and tears of our ancestors, only for its youth to be a follower of a dictator. Remember:

Ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan.

Jose Rizal

Credits to the owner of the featured image: One Mapúa on facebook

2 thoughts on “If You’re Not Outraged, You Are Misinformed”

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