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Dealing with the nation’s pressing problems? Local gov’t tells citizens to DIY

Dealing with the nation’s pressing problems? Local gov’t tells citizens to DIY
Gabbi Garcia and Khalil Ramos for Scout x Globe

Ever read something and automatically hear the womp womp womp of Robert B. Weide’s directorial credits? Try going through the local news. Cue the noise of your aggressive typing as you write up a long, frustrated comment reacting to the political clownery on your feed. A beat. You quickly delete as you realize the futility of replying to trolls who, most likely, will ignore your abridged outline of the basics of policy-making and argumentation. Yeah, we see you.

The lasting legacy of our government gaslighting Filipinos continues with timeless statements like, “Can you do any better?” or “It’s harder than you think!” This has become the perennial mark of your everyday trapo, the standard by which we hold our typical statesman. But since its 2019, they have decided to step it up… by thinking of an even more damning statement that pretty much confirms my fear of declining command-responsibility (and basic empathy) among government ranks: “Why don’t you come up with something?” (followed closely by “Who needs research?” and “Shit happens”)

Well sure buddy, why don’t you go commute early morning to work a minimum wage job and house the family of an average worker traveling all the way from the intestines of a different city? Then, below poverty line Filipinos can spend their days playing Candy Crush in air-conditioned Senate meetings and tagging along government-funded trips abroad.

Sarcasm aside though, how insensitive is it to ask a nation plagued by low wages, severe traffic congestions and disproportionately high poverty rates to scrape up the time and resources to fix problems they were voted into power to solve? Our only duty is to follow the law to give them the leeway to improve the country. As citizens under a democratic nation, it is our right to dissent when the system threatens our safety and well-being. To demand decent quality of life is not entitlement.

From easing city traffic to climate awareness, must everything be a DIY effort of private citizens to improve quality of life while our government officials live it up on private planes and shopping sprees on our tax money? According to our head of state, the answer is a resounding yes.

Last Oct. 31, President Duterte issued a letter delegating Vice President Leni Robredo as co-chair of the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-illegal Drugs (ICAD). A position, which her own ally former senator Antonio Trillanes referred to as, “a political distraction.” The vague delegation was rooted in a defensive retaliation against Robredo’s critique of the war on drugs. Her acceptance of the president’s challenge surprised and concerned many of her allies. Despite not having a clear job function or list of responsibilities, VP Leni Robredo has taken on this position the same way she took on the chair position of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council when she was newly voted into office, a make-the-most-out-of-it do-it-yourself project— along with us, the people.

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