where’s our sense of priorities? #bohol

boholanos are feeling abandoned, said tina monzon-palma on anc news last night; many devastated boholanos had yet to receive any kind of relief goods and services three days after the quake.  on tv patrol charie villa observed that there seemed to be no foreign assistance coming in, unlike in other disaster ops, and noli de castro said it could be because the government had said we didn’t need help, we could handle it (or something to that effect).  of course it could also be because the roads leading to these neglected towns and barangays have been rendered impassable, and yet ANC was able to get there.  and on dzmm teleradyo’s SRO, doris bigornia asked pointedly why the congressmen of bohol, relampagos and yap, in particular, were nowhere to be seen or heard.

maybe it would have been different if the prez had been around — i’m sure south korea would have understood if he had postponed the trip to a better time — and then, again, who knows.  what’s clear lang is that other concerns seemed to have overwhelmed, such as how metromanila would fare if/when the west valley fault acts up, and meanwhile, are manila’s old churches safe? is malacanang palace?  and, of course, back in bohol, the question of bohol’s ruined churches, for which there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth, and the call for restoration seems to be getting more government attention, as if these were more important than the hungry, thirsty, miserable people of bohol, some of them desperate for loved ones still buried in rubble.

please, first things first.  unahin naman ang taongbayan ng bohol na kalunoslunos ang kalagayan, hindi ang mga simbahan that used to be.  those churches are gone. let’s settle for ruins as tourist attraction, why not, and build new ones on the side, stronger versions.  but all that should wait until life is back to normal for boholanos.  all that can wait until it is clear where the money will be coming from.  meanwhile, church authorities will simply have to fend for themselves and for their parishes, find places to hold mass and other rituals, rain and/or shine.  this is not a good time to ask the faithful for help to rebuild churches, not even the rich parishioners; any available funds and resources should first be poured into helping the people of bohol rebuild their lives.

and speaking of funds.  ano ba ang totoo?  ubos na nga ba ang 2013 calamity funds — break it down, please — and this is why palace spokesman lacierda is saying that they hope to use the “savings” aka DAP to respond to the needs of bohol?  i suppose he was also thinking DAP when he said this:?

“What we need in terms of assistance from international friends would be experts in restoring churches…these are heritage sites. We’re looking at making sure were able to restore churches,” Lacierda said.

“We will appreciate (international aid). We’re not calling for aid. No man is an island. Kagandahan lahat ng bansa, nagtutulungan ang marami. May concern sa bayan kung may maitutulong. We appreciate international assistance although we have enough resources to handle the situation,” he added.

or is it just a ruse to pressure the supreme court to rule on DAP’s legality fast, otherwise kawawa naman ang bohol?  sana naman hindi.  surely mayroong matuwid na paraan.


  1. so whats your problem with this exactly?

    1) are you against moving funds from savings to disaster relief because… of constitutional reasons?

    2) you are against a quicker resolution of the DAP issue?

  2. I’m of the opinion that, given a choice of supporting the nation’s president or criticizing him, one is best served by supporting him. It’s a kind of sacrifice of self that is good for the Philippines. He can only be one place at once, and Korea is an important place to be.

    My impression is that aid has been quickly brought to bear, or at least expressions of it, from private and public sources. Still, the Philippines is not really set up to do battle with natural disasters. I mean, where is the big white hospital ship off the coast doing quick and skillful operations on the injured? (See my blog tomorrow.)