Great things come in three, they say, and because Christmas is drawing near, now that we’re in the third week of Advent, there are three mandates awaiting the Filipino people this season. As to them being great, we can safely say one certainly is good, while the other two may be the stuff that unwanted Christmas gifts are made of.
Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV filed a bill aiming to prevent food from going to waste in the Philippines. Senate Bill No. 357, or the Zero Food Waste Act, seeks to end the “cycle of having food end up in the trash instead of stomachs.” Aquino’s measure aims to have food establishments donate their excess food to charities such as food banks and other agencies that are in the business of distributing food to the needy. With the high cost of food in the country, in which a family of five need about $10 a day to be able to eat adequately, to throw away food is an injustice. While the bill seeks to encourage business and food distributors to reconsider throwing away their food in the garbage where the hungry rummage through daily, there is certainly more to the food wastage problem in the Philippines and around the world which one senate bill cannot possibly cover, such as greed and corruption. It is, however, necessary to take small steps, and make policies happen that will further enhance a law such as this, to eliminate hunger and disease, and alleviate poverty in some sense.
This is the good.
The Department of Health recently began distributing condoms to schools as part of its mandatory sex education that aims to promote “safe-sex” among the young people, The DOH claims that because of the alarming rate of HIV/AIDS among the youth, as well as early pregnancies, the distribution of condoms can reduce the number of cases of the transmittable disease, as well as avoid having unwanted children.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines cried foul, as did Buhay Party-list representative Lito Atienza. Both parties said that proper education in reproduction, as an inalienable right and responsibility of the parents, should be encouraged, not the distribution of condoms, which promotes promiscuity in young people. Unfortunately, DOH Paulyn Ubial does not read newspapers, as global reports of the spread of HIV/AIDS and early pregnancies are actually caused by faulty, ineffective and substandard produced condoms shipped to Third World countries. Atienza also says that this scare tactic regarding the spread of HIV/AIDS through “unsafe” sex is part of a world population control strategy, not really an answer to prevent the fatal disease. We have Planned Parenthood and UNICEF to thank for that.
This is the bad.
As an early Christmas gift, the House of Representatives came out with the passing of the reimposition of the Death Penalty, which has been dormant since 1987. According to the House, because of the increasing number of criminality due to the distribution of illegal drugs, there is also an increase in the incidence of other crimes connected to, therefore, necessitating the death penalty. Albay Representative Edcel Lagman and Senator Leila de Lima, in a recent forum at the University of the Philippines, both reiterated that the reimposition of the death penalty is simply to hide the President’s incompetence, noting that the administration would “rather kill than protect” its citizens. Lagman also said that the revival of the law will continue a cycle of violence that has already spread in the country in the last six months since Duterte took over. Recent reports have revealed that the PNP can no longer account for 4,000 of the 6,000 deaths as lawful and judicial.
The death penalty is an obvious measure to conceal the ineptitude of the government to maintain the law of the land, and killing people has been its only solution, the way an exterminator would get rid of pests.
This is the ugly. Really ugly.
As we Filipinos here in Canada peacefully prepare for the coming of the child Jesus, our kababayans continue to receive its share of the good, the bad and the ugly, even in this season of hope, faith, joy and love. While we pray that the bad and the ugly go away, we know that the true and the good shall always prevail.