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Opinion

Fight like “The Pursuit of Happyness” rather than “Les Misérables” alone

READER’S VIEWS - The Freeman

Fighting for your rights to be heard when it comes to the equal distribution of goods here in the Philippines is highly encouraged as a democratic country. However, never forget to fight for your personal needs too because you are not born imprisoned in that nationalistic spirit alone. It's good to fight for the country, like Hugh Jackman (Jean Valjean) in “Les Misérables”, but don't forget your personal fight too, like Will Smith (Chris Gardner) in the movie “The Pursuit of Happyness”.

If you've visited or heard about the fascinating healthcare, education, and retirement programs in Canada, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, and other countries, you might become one of the many Filipino immigrants and tourists who form the opinion that the Philippine government system is hideous. It may not be good to judge the system in general, but in many cases, a lot of government offices are not providing clear and practical services. Imagine only few Filipinos are well-oriented that PhilHealth can cover up to 13 laboratory tests such as CBC, ECG, chest x-ray, to mention a few, and 21 maintenance drugs and medicines under the PhilHealth Konsulta Package. Yes, as a citizen it is an obligation to know and study, but in the light of this digital and technological era, how could the office provide awareness to Filipino working-class citizens who are ill and dying but remain ignorant?

The Philippines remains as one of the countries that, by joke, export professionals to different countries. Nurses and teachers prefer to work for dollars with secured healthcare than to stay in the country with an unclear system and not enough salary. How many teachers cry and celebrate passing the LET exams yet think that their goal of working abroad has already manifested? Imagine those licensed teachers in public schools who until now try their best to fund their own classrooms and academic materials. The 20%-30% amount they take from their salary seemed big already just to enhance or fix a part of their classroom in preparation for individual evaluation.

One of the benefits that regular employees are grateful for is the guaranteed pension they will receive during their retirement years. But did you know that until now, some pensioners are still complaining of their untraceable contributions during those early years of working in the 1960s? From manual to digital processes, the government office seemed no longer interested in finding a way to trace the lacking contributions of some retirees. Pensioners have problems with inflation; now they have to ease the burden of the untraceable contributions. They choose to stop complaining instead in order to start receiving their benefits.

It's emotionally painful to carry all the issues and concerns in the country. They may lead to headaches, stress, anxiety, hypertension, or even chronic diseases. For some Filipinos who have made their way to fight their own problems rather than waiting and relying on government leaders who enjoy their millions first before enacting the citizens' concerns, kudos to you. For Filipinos too, who dedicate all their existence in fighting against the crooked ways of most political leaders, keep the faith. Whatever call or fight you are in right now, don't forget to address your own personal fight. Find a job or start your own business. Make money and save. Change and do something that matters for yourself and your family.

Ernesto Kigai

Cebu City

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