Daunting C-challenges and hope-filled C-responses

PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero-Ballescas - The Freeman

COVID remains the present, biggest health challenge throughout the world. Although the former big C, cancer, is just as scary, until this virus and its variants are completely contained and everyone protected and safe, COVID is the most dreaded C nowadays.

Before and even now with COVID in our midst here in our country, other C-challenges existed and still continue to need our steadfast vigilance and prompt action as well.

CC or Charter Change is certainly not what our people and our country need right now. However, despite public protest, the HORs (House of Representatives) are rushing to pass their version soonest. Like the swiftness and unfairness displayed by the HORs in the case of the ABS-CBN franchise, they may again succeed in ramming their Chacha agenda.

Will you, will the Filipino people allow the HORs to push their pro-politicians’ CHACHA now, rather than pro-people Chacha and COVID-related emergency measures?

Aside from ChaCha, there are Constitutional Challenges where certain people feeling powerful and entitled are incompetently and arrogantly bypassing correct interpretations of existing laws of the land. Remember the infamous case of the unlawful ouster of CJ Sereno?

Corruption is another C that needs to be confronted at all levels. This pervasive practice has shamelessly siphoned and diverted precious public funds and resources intended to meet the urgent basic needs of millions of our people (food, shelter, jobs, COVID-protection, health, and other welfare services) into the private pockets and coffers of the abusive.

Given competing and linked challenges confronting our people, can corruption be contained so there will be assured food, shelter, employment, health, and welfare provisions for all? Can a united citizenry find the cure for corruption in this country?

There is the continuing Compadre-Compadrazco-Client patron system where the powerful and the privileged bind the millions of poor in lingering unjust dependence on them. This system allows the high and mighty to claim “private ownership” over public funds and resources.

This system also allows for the undeserving, the unqualified, the incompetent to hold public positions resulting in lack of transparency, accountability, and intelligent policy and programs!

How can the present and future generations of Filipinos put an end to this practice?

China is another formidable C-challenge not only for our country but for the region and the world. Our own fisherfolks reported being stopped by Chinese patrol boats from fishing in our own territorial waters! The unregulated entry of Chinese in various sectors and parts of our country is also a cause for concern for national, even international security, given the strategic geo-political location of the Philippines.

While there may be other C-challenges that you can point out, let us add the most urgent, the most pressing C-challenge not only for our country but for our whole planet and for all people.

Climate Change, Climate Crisis, global warming driven by human emissions of greenhouse gases and resulting in large-scale, often destructive, weather patterns requires immediate, unified, committed global/local climate action.

All of us have witnessed deadly, destructive storms. Elsewhere, famines, droughts, more.

If global warming is not limited to 1.5° Celsius by 2030, the Climate Reality Project issued this earlier alert to expect: “Storms growing even more powerful; oceans becoming more acidic and killing off major sections of coral; whole sections of landmasses transforming from one ecosystem to another, massive ecosystem loss; potentially irreversible melting of ice sheets triggering sea-level rise affecting millions; species extinction; annual fishery catches declining,” and more!

If we procrastinate and delay decisive, committed climate action, we are told- “it’s 2030 or bust!”

Time to do our share, now, to avoid further global warming!

And for other C-challenges, these hope-filled C-responses: Commitment/faith and Collective Action/Prayer.

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