Family Day reflections

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Monday, March 10, 2014

VOICES of kids singing along with Frozen’s “Let It Go” filled the air as the family settled and ate lunch at the corner of St. Benedict’s crowded gym during yesterday’s celebration of Family Day.

After I bought that DVD copy more than a month ago, the kids just could not let go watching, thus the familiar tune.

That happy cacophony, I told myself, should be more than enough compensation for wading through the horde of parents and children to gather food for lunch. Deciding not to bring any and just buy from the booths inside the campus had turned out to be an exhausting exercise of lining up for the blue chits to be able to take another queue to buy bottled water, hotdogs, barbecue, and puso.


“Gubot man gyud nang Family Day,” a kid assured as we discussed my need to write this column as an excuse to find a much quieter place.

My editor Pubs Briones earlier texted about the new 3 p.m. deadline.


Yup. I thought I would prefer school family days a hundred times more than what residents of Montealegre, a mountain barangay in Tuburan town, reported to be hit by cases of typhoid fever.

At least, the situation had been confined to one barangay caused by a contaminated source of drinking water. Tuburan Mayor Jun Diamante earlier texted that only one still remains at the hospital. Those stricken were given free hospitalization and meals. Thanks for the speedy response, Mayor.

Being a global public health problem, we who live in Cebu City should not relax our guard. But then, outbreaks like this should not just be a burden for families and health authorities. The lack of potable water sources and the public’s fear that MCWD water is not safe–thus the brisk sale of bottled water–should tell us much about local government performance.

I remember that two years ago, in a worse typhoid outbreak in Tuburan town, then newly elected Mayor Diamante ordered the installation of chlorinators and the regular testing of the town’s water sources. Perhaps, the time has come for Cebuanos to take a closer look at our water system.

The present Capitol administration, for instance, should push the ambitious project of sourcing surface water from Carmen town to the next
level, meaning Cebuanos will finally have access to cheap, abundant, and safe drinking water.

Two advocacies are associated with March: fire prevention and women’s welfare.

The prevalence of fires speaks much about how prepared we are. Then, there is also our ability to put out fires. It seems fires are declared as controlled only when all the houses of a community had been razed.

And how about our fire department’s ability to deal with fires that hit skyscrapers?

Do our fire trucks already have ladders that can rescue people trapped above three stories? I have no quarrel with Cebu City Hall prioritizing the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) and the need to use the Bureau of Fire building on Natalio Bacalso Ave. But please don’t neglect our firemen.

Just one ironic twist. Cebu City Hall cannot collect insurance because CCMC was covered only with fire insurance, not against natural calamities.

On women’s welfare, I just want to raise the utter lack of understanding of our lawmakers who rammed down the anti-cybercrime down our throats. The anti-cybercrime law outlaws paid websites that promote illegal trafficking of women. But the bigger problem is the proliferation of free cybersex sites that our Internetsavvy children can access.

I recall the Mambaling flyover was finished in record time during the early part of Mayor Mike Rama’s first term.

However, working on the road below the flyover remains unfinished as we approach the middle of his second term.

Is this a case of slow men working? Or lack of budget that Rama can blame on the BOPK-dominated council? Or subject to the availability of funds because Rama’s administration lags in tax collection?

Or just waiting for that period just before the next election when road projects get finished in record time?


My friend Aye Canoy sent a private message about Ukraine. But I have a concern closer to home. China has been plotting for a long while now to get a piece of Philippine territory.

In Ukraine, the people were divided between those staunchly defending Ukraine sovereignty and those demanding that the country should return to Russia.

Instead of feeling outraged at the Chinese provocations, many Filipinos would rather mock the Philippine government for being militarily weak. We
cannot even defend our fishermen from Chinese fire hoses. Oh well, it’s
already 3 p.m. Deadline.


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 10, 2014.


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