By Rina Jimenez-David
He was an inspired choice. Before accepting the post of health secretary, Dr. Juan Flavier was already known as the “Doctor to the Barrios,” having written a book (of the same title) on his experiences and insights while serving in the barrios of Nueva Ecija and Cavite. Here he shared, with humor and sensitivity, what he had learned from the simple barrio folk who taught him lessons he would bring, decades later, to his work at the Department of Health.
With due respect, please allow me to express what my conscience dictates.
By Rina Jimenez-David
In life, there is such a thing as “the law of unintended consequences.” Sometimes, a law is enacted or a policy is crafted to address a particular problem. But in the implementation, the measure gives rise to consequences entirely unforeseen, unanticipated or unexpected that may, in the end, result in even bigger and more serious problems.
The New Year has arrived but it is clear many Filipinos have learned nothing when it comes to the continued use of dangerous firecrackers. As of Jan. 3, the Department of Health (DOH) had already tallied 933 injuries nationwide caused either by firecrackers or stray bullets during the holiday revelry, which the DOH traditionally measures from Dec. 21 to Jan. 5. This means that the number of injuries has already exceeded last year’s tally of 931 with two more days to go. Damning still is the finding that the vast majority of the injuries were caused by the notorious “piccolo” firecracker which, while being officially banned, is now making its way to the soon-to-be-severed fingers of more and more young Filipinos.
The yearend celebration will be particularly poignant because of the recent calamities that hit the country. A big number of Filipinos are in mourning and hard put to look to the new year with hope. It is but fitting for those fortunate to be spared tremendous loss, whether personal or material, to respect those who have lost everything. They can start by shunning the ostentation—let alone noise, to speak nothing of risk to life and limb—of expensive firecrackers and fireworks.