While doing my usual Monday reports, a fierce wind blew suddenly and slammed my bedroom windows. I looked outside and saw dark clouds over the horizon. Images of destruction in Tacloban and other parts of the Visayas areas which I saw on the internet flashed into my. Several thoughts were gathered and made me contemplate. I went back to my study table and tried to encode ideas on my mind. After so many attempts, I decided to write on ways to help Yolanda’s victims.
Instantly, the first idea I had dealt with this ongoing debate and investigation on the pork barrel. It is quite unfortunate that the tragedy occurred towards the end of the year when government are winding down on expenses to save on budget and pretend that performance was okay and people received bonuses. It is even more tragic when you consider that pork barrel should be spent on constituents not on the pockets of politicians. Thus, the first way to help is to deviate from the hearing and mandate all those who received pork barrels immediately transfer it to Yolanda’s victims. Yes, it is not easy. It was not difficult also for politicians to concoct devious plans to stash the money. So, it is chicken for them to devise a strategy on how to transfer the money.
International aids are pouring in right now, and I believe most of us Filipinos are already worried on how it will end up. I guess, it is right that transparency committee should be installed to monitor and document how financial aids are spent and allocated. We have already experienced thousands of tragedies and by this time, we should be competent on how to handle these things. So, the second way therefore is to count every money and spend it wisely. Let us prevent money landing in the wrong hands.
Third, the impact of situation will be felt not only today but in the next days, weeks, months, and even years. If you cannot help today due to lack of resources, prayers will do. However, one can still manage to save enough money so one can donate later. For example, why not cut one stick of cigarette per day?. In 30 days, that will be 120 pesos more or less; that is equivalent to 3 kilos of quality rice not the ones worthy of being fed to pigs. There are so many things we can give up and quantify it. It might be small but think of one life that you can save even for just one day. Okay?
Fourth, it is time to adopt a family or groups of victims. If we want to avoid corruption, then let us go direct. An agency should make the connection between a family of victims and a foster family, organization, or private individuals. It can be a one to one mode, or any other ratio for as long as there is a direct help until victims are lead to full recovery.
It is really a sad moment for us. It is even sadder that instead of harmonizing efforts to help the victims, some people are already calculating how much they can exploit from the situation.