Hungry in Paradise

Published August 6, 2022, 12:08 AM

by Jullie Y. Daza

MEDIUM RARE

Jullie Y. Daza

When it rains, it pours. With families still recovering from whatever disasters that have hit them, life’s still a touch-and-go. But let’s not label ourselves a “disaster-prone” country, for words have their power. Let the latest LPA in, we’re used to them. What we’re not used to is climate change, and that’s because we’re so used to nature’s tantrums that we don’t notice the “change,” if that’s what it is.

Still reeling from the aftershocks of the July 27 earthquake, we watch Taal volcano showing signs of restiveness, shooting up clouds of steam and gas high into the air. Nice for picture-taking, stop there.

Senator Imee Marcos may be reaping brickbats for the movie made about Malacañang, but give her a high grade for convincing PBBM to shelve the idea of a Department of Disaster Resilience. It’s good to defer to big sister, Mr. President, and appreciate her quip about one “katutak” of a new department staffed with five undersecretaries and God knows how many assistant secretaries when with a bit of tweaking, the work of responding to disasters, rescue and rehabilitation can be handled by NDRRMC, its branches and twigs.

Disasters cost us billions every year. But for a poor country to have wasted P5 billion worth of vaccines – an economic crime! Considering that the Covid virus continues to mutate while dengue threatens with massive infections and monkeypox has entered the country, we’d want a cure-all that’s free, so which donor would now be willing to take a chance on us?

The poor feel the effects of inflation harder than those of us who can afford to follow the news.  If 48 percent of an SWS survey rated themselves poor, how does that translate to the actual number of kids who won’t be going to school? School supplies don’t come cheap, neither do computers, which we sorely need to make up for our failing grades in English, math, science.

Who comes after GenZ? Today’s babies are born underweight to mothers who lack proper nutrition. At the opposite end, another study shows that obesity is growing among our youngsters. The real scandal is not eating three times a day in a tropical paradise where the land is fertile and anything grows all year round.

 
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