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Opinion

Best for our people

PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero Ballescas - The Freeman

We are a prayerful people. If we were all to pray for what is best for our people, what would you ask for?

My first prayer would be that all Filipinos, individually and united together, will do their responsible share to always uplift and serve our people and to serve and honor God.

Security seemed high on the list of voters in the last elections. Security of physical life is a priority for all - to be free from dangers posed by killers, drug addicts, kidnappers, and other thieves, from war, from invasion, from natural disasters.

What causes people to be criminals? Abusive family and societal structures need to be reexamined and reformed as well. Aside from emphasizing and prioritizing punishments and rules versus criminals, the causes of criminality need to be examined and attended to as well.

Food security is part of life security. Freedom from hunger is a top priority. Ample and sustainable food production must be urgently encouraged. Every Filipino needs to do his/her share to help ensure the supply of steady food first for their household, then their community, then their region, and the rest of the country.

Support for organic gardens at home, in schools and universities, in offices, churches, or in any vacant, idle private or open space should be initiated and promoted. Let us all be part of the greening of our land to secure food for all from now on. Let us not leave food production to our food producers only. Let us partner and join our food producers to secure food for us all, for our people soonest.

Let us also assist our food producers by honoring and appreciating their noble service to feed us all. Sadly, our food producers - the rice, corn, coconut, and other small farmers, the fisherfolks, among others - are themselves among the poor and hungry.

Can we reward their food production service for us all by giving them incentives - like giving them sustainable monthly wages? Is it possible to sustain them with wages so that they can support their own household and they will be more inspired to produce more food for our people?

In order to produce enough, our food producers need to have ownership and/or access to their land, boats, fishing territories, to their own harvests and catch. Genuine and complete implementation of agrarian reform, irrigation and infrastructure support for agriculture, support for the small fisherfolks should be seriously considered as well.

An honest and thorough review of our present agricultural situation, especially farming and fisheries, should be top priority in order to assess how this sector can be enhanced to ensure steady food supply for our people and our country.

Can we also reexamine why our food producers remain poor while the distributors of their food produce are getting richer instead? Can we pray for a more equitable and fair market distribution system to benefit our food producers as well? And weed out the corrupt, the abusive from our food production and distribution system?

We pray that natural, organic food supply production can be a national policy so our people are assured of healthy, steady, sustainable supply of food and resources. Going organic will also ensure the health and sustainability of our environment for our and subsequent generations to use and to enjoy?

Security and sustainability of our natural resources is also a top priority. We need to rethink policies about mining, coal production, and other polluting and destructive resource extraction and management. More openness to use of solar, wind, rain, fog, wave, biogas, and other alternative energy sources can be piloted in communities throughout our country.

Exploring natural and sustainable resource supply, production and management can encourage new jobs and livelihood badly needed to continue our campaign for more employment security.

We need to reexamine as well the types of jobs that have been made available to our people. Often, these are jobs that are linked to foreign investments and businesses. Perhaps, it is time to see what jobs are needed by communities so that those to be employed need not have to be displaced and relocated from their original homes and residence.

Poverty eradication may be too much to ask too soon but the sooner we seriously resolve to do our share to help at least even just one poor family, that small step and contribution may start the campaign to end this problem among our people slowly but surely.

What about you? What would you pray for to best help our people and our country from now on?

cherryb_thefreeman@yahoo.com.

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