By Patrick Patino
The year 2013 was a litmus test for the Aquino administration and the nation.
By Jose Ma. Montelibano
I start the year with a greater resolve to build in tune with people of like-spirit who see 2014 as the year of reconstruction. There will be serious distractions, I am sure, as Filipinos have finally found the impetus for change long evaded. My distractions will be somebody else’s advocacy, and change demands both dismantling and rebuilding. I will fasten my seat belts, tightly.
By Ricardo J. Romulo
With the crafting of a national budget consistent with present priorities over and done with, our lawmakers ought to determine, in the exercise of oversight, how the executive branch (under two administrations) has implemented a law they passed: Republic Act No. 101211, or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010.
However President Aquino and his economic managers crow over the resilience of the Philippine economy, there is no denying the fact that it remains fragile and very susceptible to disasters—natural and manmade.
By Rina Jimenez-David
This is the time of year when, while the post-Christmas glow has yet to fade, and the manic welcoming of the coming New Year slowly builds up, we are given a respite from celebrating. In the Filipino style, this includes moments of rest from overindulging in food, shopping, merrymaking, list-completing, spending and menu planning.
By Romeo D. Bohol
I hope Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery Panfilo Lacson does not take his designation literally. God knows it’s not just rehabilitation that Eastern Visayas needs.
“Merry Christmas!” This is the greeting I have received most this season from people I met. Each time I hear those words, the more I love Christmas here in the Philippines. In this country, families gather in their homes to celebrate Christmas not for the food but to be with their loved ones.
President Aquino’s reaction to the “word war” between Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas over the poor and terrible government response to the worst devastation by a typhoon ever recorded was, “My conscience is clear.”
If our government has good and better plans for our country in the coming year, we can surmise that its enemies have also their plans, except that they are much different because they are the exact opposite.
Christine Joy Sarsosa, a “Yolanda” survivor from Leyte, turned 14 yesterday, in a tent shelter in Cebu City. By contemporary standards, it was an austere birthday and a bleak Christmas. Her aunt, a single mother of three, told Inquirer correspondent Carmel Loise Matus they would use the food packs distributed by donors as their noche buena, the traditional hearty meal Filipino families prepare on Christmas Eve. A simple meal at an evacuation center: This was what Christmas amounted to for the Sarsosa family—and tens of thousands of families affected by the major calamities that struck the country in the last four months of the year.
By Conrado de Quiros
I thought I’d round off my articles on “Yolanda” and how it has drawn our attention to the poor by talking about an idea I’ve had for quite some time now. That idea is to launch some kind of “propoor coalition” to thrust fighting poverty to the forefront of national consciousness. What better time to do it than the dawning of a new year?
By Julie Hall
Accustomed though it is to disasters, the Philippines has taken an extraordinary pummeling in recent months and endured more than its normal portion of pain and distress.