Will year of mercy smash walls of apathy? | Inquirer Opinion

Will year of mercy smash walls of apathy?

12:56 AM December 18, 2015

LAST Dec. 8’s Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Pope Francis opened the doors of the Vatican to mark the start of the extraordinary “Jubilee Year of Mercy.” Our own Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle did likewise with the doors of the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros.

It is our fervent hope and prayer that these symbolic gestures will result in the smashing of the walls of apathy and indifference that, through all these years, have kept the plight of poor families living in the filth of squatters, streets and sidewalks of our historic walled city (a short distance from the arzobispado where our good cardinal has his residence) from the rich and the powerful’s eyes of concern.

Friends have proposed to the good mayor of Manila a relocation site in the countryside, a place overlooking Lingayen Gulf. But the offer was rejected pointing to the tourism department as the responsible agency. A request for him to reconsider his decision has been met with silence; after all, the officials of the five barangays that will be affected are said to report to him and get their salaries from the city of Manila.


It is our hope that the Jubilee Year of Mercy will likewise open the hearts of public officials and lead them to develop more economic zones wherein the locating industries will be given tax incentives, on condition that they provide housing and school facilities for their laborers.


And may the year of mercy melt the hearts of our business tycoons and real estate moguls so that aside from building more and more high rises for the rich and wealthy, they will also build homes for the poor.

Believe this 95-year-old retired educator with 43 years experience in public schools: It is not contraceptive pills that will reduce poverty. It is good value-oriented education in the grassroots that will do it!

—CONSUELO SISON, [email protected]

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TAGS: letter, opinion, Pope Francis, Vatican, year of mercy

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