Destabilization? Gov’t wanting in compassion, care for the poor | Inquirer Opinion

Destabilization? Gov’t wanting in compassion, care for the poor

/ 05:00 AM May 22, 2024

They call it destabilization, as if the Marcos administration were stable. Rumors of a destabilization plot against the Marcos administration paint the illusion of stable governance. Ordinary people longing for decent jobs and living wages know by guts and heart that we never had a government that would assure us a normal life with substantial food on the table and decent social services. We know that the health situation of the country is not well.

The bad news, based on reports, is that the Department of Health’s (DOH) proposed overall budget will decrease by P10 billion from P209.62 billion under the General Appropriations Act of 2023. A stable government puts its resources where its heart is. In terms of budget allocation, the Department of National Defense got 4.1 percent (P234 billion); the Department of Social Welfare and Development got 3.6 percent (P209.9 billion); state universities and colleges 1.8 percent (P105.6 billion), and the DOH 3.5 percent (P204.6 billion).

We are an agricultural society, and rely so much for our basic necessities and food on agricultural products from our farmers. But how much is the budget for agriculture? The Department of Agriculture got 1.9 percent (P108.5 billion), while the Department of Agrarian Reform got 0.2 percent (P9.4 billion). Meanwhile, the Department of Public Works and Highways got 14.3 percent (P822.2 billion), and debt service got 11.6 percent (P670.5 billion).

It’s a fundamental fact that the stability of any society depends on a healthy people with a scientific worldview, substantial food on the table, and happy and healthy social relationships with each other. These are indicators of existing social justice. The current situation of poor Filipinos under the present and past governments has been wanting in genuine care, compassion, and a heart for the poor and the sick.


When people begin to question their situation, they are accused of being leftists or are Red-tagged. While exercising their democratic rights and showing their concern for sovereignty and patrimony, they are persecuted by state agents. Undermining the fundamentals of democracy and stifling its exercise can destabilize the gains of nationalists and our freedom-loving heroes and martyrs.

When communities are ruled by terror and threats in a war on drugs, we know very well that fundamental rights are being destabilized. It’s also a destabilization of the hopes and dreams of families seeking accountability and justice when the present government won’t pursue them. We need to remind the current administration that whether there were 6,000 or 30,000 people killed, those are lives that make up Philippine society. Ignoring their cry for justice is a great disservice to them.

A stable government cannot be defeated by any force. But to have it, the government must be credible and principled enough to respect and protect human rights through their economic, political, and cultural rights. It must provide socioeconomic reforms that enable people to feed, clothe, and send their children to school, provide housing for their families, and guarantee a better future for the family. A stable government must have the integrity of asserting its peoples’ rights and sovereignty, with its strength and power built on citizens who are well-fed, cared for, and taught patriotism and nationalism.

To paraphrase Psalms 1:3, “A stable government is like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper.”

Norma P. Dollaga,
[email protected]

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