BIZLINKS - Rey Gamboa - The Philippine Star

While working as an oil man for a good number of decades, one of the more sensitive issues the industry devoted extra attention to was the opinion of housewives when raising prices of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), a petroleum product used for cooking.

How noisy and cantankerous housewives would and could get became an informal barometer of households’ capacity to spend, especially at a time when crude oil prices continued to rise. Yes, the oil industry was as macho as many Filipino husbands, and made the word “takusa,” for takot sa asawa or fear of the wife more meaningful.

These days, takusa could also stand for takot sa seniors, a voice that has grown even more ferocious than housewives’ over the last years. Science and medicine has toughened senior citizens for survival fights, making them a formidable voice in our society.

In my readings on lockdowns in other countries and the concern about keeping the elderly in continued home confinement, nothing comes close to the violent reactions of Filipino senior citizens when the government initially curbed their movements in the current coronavirus environment.

While there were indications that restrictions would be relaxed and modified based on comments made by some government officials, social media channels and chat groups of senior citizens continued to fire away waiting for official and clear pronouncements that these “absurd” restrictions are indeed lifted.

‘Senior’ views

Of the comments from senior citizens, here’s one from a prominent business leader: “Senior citizens 60 years old and above should only be advised to refrain from going out for their own protection from the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19, but not mandated to remain inside their homes and be subject to arrest by the PNP if they go out. Such rule is tantamount to sentencing senior citizens to house arrest simply for being 60 years or older.”

Another one wrote: “Seniors are health conscious. We know our limitations, we know how to take care of ourselves, we follow the law, but we know also our rights. Concern for us elderly does not mean locking us in our homes to watch the world go by through our windows and television and just waiting for our end. 

“We need to be productive, we need to know what is happening outside and contribute. We need fresh air, oxygen of our plants, and watch the beautiful creation of God around us.

“Distancing, wearing a mask, washing our hands, alcohol in our pockets, yes we do that because we understand and know how to protect ourselves. We are the most responsible citizenry of our country.

“A lot of seniors are gainfully employed because they have the collective wisdom and experience. They have undergone trials and became victorious. Failure is nothing to us because we know we can overcome. Suicide because of failure is not in our vocabulary. 

“We value community. We value friendship, and most of all we value family. Above all, we give glory and thanks everyday to God for allowing us to wake up every morning and enjoy His precious gift, life, and enjoy it to its fullest.

“We are just enjoying now the fruits of our labor. Do not lock us up. Please.”

Still, from another: “The government is heavily populated by seniors. The captains of industry are seniors. The key executives of leading businesses and vital business organizations are seniors.

“The recent crop of key business leaders who have retired from big business upon reaching senior age are now the owners and captains of innovative ventures and MSMEs. They intend to further immobilize these key players at a time that they want to reopen the economy? Absurd!”

Leadership vacuum

Just in case some young maverick in government gets tempted once again to issue a sweeping statement discriminating senior citizens and treating them as an unthinking herd of society’s discards, here are a few facts worth remembering, and remembering well: The most productive age in a man’s life is from 60 to 70. From 70 to 80 is the second most productive age. The third most productive age is from 50 to 60.

If you stop these people between 60 to 80 years of age who are active leaders, there will be a vacuum of leadership from national and local government to big and small businesses.

There must be a more creative way to allow these age bracket leaders to get to their responsibilities to lead and move this nation.

Facebook and Twitter

We are actively using two social networking websites to reach out more often and even interact with and engage our readers, friends and colleagues in the various areas of interest that I tackle in my column. Please like us on www.facebook.com/ReyGamboa and follow us on www.twitter.com/ReyGamboa.

Should you wish to share any insights, write me at Link Edge, 25th Floor, 139 Corporate Center, Valero Street, Salcedo Village, 1227 Makati City. Or e-mail me at reydgamboa@yahoo.com. For a compilation of previous articles, visit www.BizlinksPhilippines.net.

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