Boon to kids who didn’t expect unusual gifts last Christmas



Elinando B. Cinco Elinando B. Cinco

They say that God’s graces come in unexpected ways. And the Child in the Manger gave “gifts” to Filipino kids and youngsters, surprisingly, in unusual twists during the Yuletide season.

Here’s how:

First was providing school children who are left-handed with armchairs especially designed for them. For decades, schools – public and private – overlooked this special need.

Senate Bill No. 2114 seeks to require educational institutions nationwide to provide left-handed armchairs for left-handed students. As far as I could remember, no administration had thought of such a necessity.

Sen. Sony Angara is the author of the bill that has some mandatory provisions.

In the introductory note, he said studies showed that 10 to 15 percent of students are left-handed. And a right-handed armchair does not offer left-handed arm-support, causing body parts pain to the young southpaw.

(Note: My own three granddaughters are left-handed.)

Second, a law called the First 1000 Days Bill will now expand the country’s nutritional and health programs up to the first two years of life.

President Duterte signed it into law just before Christmas time.

And, third, the Senate also approved on third and final reading a measure simplifying the child adoption process. It now allows the rectification of simulated births through a simpler administrative proceeding.

Before, adopting parents found it cumbersome to follow the process. Not a few prospective foster couples abandoned their adopting plans.

This new development – authored by Sen. Risa Hontiveros – is a substitution of Senate Bill 1725, previously introduced by Sen. Grace Poe and Sen. Leila de Lima.

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‘NEWSPAPER TALK’. Definitely, a much hotter topic of conversation in a Yuletide gathering recently was non-parochial and broader in scope – the print media.

During the induction of the incoming 2019 officers and board members of our homeowners association – with Rep. Winnie Castelo as inducting officer, the center of discussion was the thinning number of pages of daily  newspapers.

“We couldn’t help it but seek to find out why” was the common inquisitive complaint.

You see, many of the more than 1,600 homeowners of our Batasan Hills village get their daily newspapers via home delivery. And are, apparently, serious print media followers, much more than they do accessing daily news from social media or broadcast facilities.

They claimed the broadsheets are the ones that have drastically slimmed down, “maybe by 8 to 10 pages.”

Not only that, “Madaling magusot ang papel,”some of the homeowners rued. How does it go, I asked.

By just turning the pages in one sitting, the newspapers easily become soiled and crumpled.

Not one who is privy to the inner business intricacies of daily newspaper publishing, I could only give my neighbors speculative explanation.

On the first item, I told them it must be a pragmatic business decision by the owners to down-size because of the continued rising prices of newsprint in the world market.

Prices reported in financial exchanges of major cities in the world show the cost of newsprint has been noticeably soaring.Ostensibly, in short supply.

A voltile market most possibly doubly wobbled  by a weak demand, I tried to explain.

The persistent recourse of corporate and industrial giants, as well as banks and financial institutions all over the world, to “go paperless” in their operations may have slowed down the market demand for paper, in general, and newsprint, in particular.

Pretty soon, government bureaucracies the world over may justifiably creep into the practice too. And for that matter, what can prevent educational and religious institutions from following suit?

And as regards the quality of newsprint my neighbors have complained about, the reason could be arboreal in nature.

It is possible that newsprint producing countries may have shifted to planting or using trees that are less superior than the previous varieties. Again, triggered by a slow market patronage.

That can be the reason for the inferior newsprint paper which my neighbors complained is “medaling magusot.”