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Opinion

The Christmas crowd

VERBAL VARIETY - Annie Fe Perez - The Freeman

There is no denying that the Christmas rush is finally here. The traffic going back and forth in Cebu is becoming bad. Slow moving is an understatement as people join one event after another. These are not just personal events, but the concerts and fairs we used to know and love are already here. I'm quite enjoying the rush at most times. These are the moments I failed to see these past two years because of the pandemic and Typhoon Odette. Everyone just wants to go out and enjoy what they have missed so much.

However, it is also taking a toll on most of us. For starters, the traffic flow will eventually become a problem for both the public and private vehicles. Add to that the termination by the Land Transportation and Franchising Board of some trips, thereby lessening the available public transport for selected routes. Taxis are too expensive for an ordinary Filipino, much more so than other third-party transport applications. The rush results in accidents which could have been avoided had there been extra precaution.

The continuing rise in the price of basic goods will also affect our yearly noche buena. Most families will be forced to prepare less than what should have been because of budgetary constraints. Should one have to cook everything for this special occasion, portions might be lessened just to make sure the budget fits. Let us also not forget that with added demand for electricity during the holidays comes at an additional cost to one's monthly bill.

But Filipinos are resilient, as they say. These petty problems are nothing compared to what they will reap in the end --a blissful meal with the family and friends. Nevermind the traffic, it's something we can all go through and forget. So what if the prices are soaring today, what's important is the bond that we foster with whoever is at the table.

While this positive attitude brings the energy levels to a high, let us not forget the accountability that our leaders have to face. We cannot just get away with a Christmas cheer and all our questions unanswered. Our leaders could not just dumb us down with fancy announcements and activities without even getting to the point of it all. Will they have a plan for our economic recovery in 2023?

Thankfully, some local government units are working double-time to fast track these concerns. Sadly, it doesn't apply to all and is only at a small-scale level. The national government should see beyond Christmas and our struggles. They must amp up their game by next year so we know if they are the best choice when it comes to the leadership role. Otherwise, we will be stuck in a rut for the next few years.

A feng shui expert said that 2023 is the year of letting go. Sure, there's no problem with that. As long as they also let go of the many policies that are blocking our country's development.

CHRISTMAS

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