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RAYMUND RONALD RICAFORT
 
sense of helplessness...

 

Hi there!  It’s sad to think about the news that pervades in the air.  From my end, I can only offer prayers for survivors to be found and for the repose of those who did not make it in the Guinsaugon tragedy.

 

Whatever calamity there is, that sense of helplessness is a given to the victims.  It’s that awful feeling when you are there and wanting to do something but you can only do so much.  I got that from a priest’s sermon last Sunday.

 

Let’s check at the other things happening around us.  The endless political debacle, the recent Leyte  landslide notwithstanding, makes one thing that it’s a hopeless world.  Okey, I’m no economist, much less a sociologist, but from my very limited point of view, the need for closure (this is the ninth time I’m saying it in this column) is very much in the air; and “that need” that the concerned (others call the guilty) party seems to chose ignore; and those on the opposite camp is using to make a political circus of.  Yes, the peso a gaining strength, but we still see many struggling hard if only to make ends meet and assure for a decent place under the sun, (I think that sounds so middle class.  No need to mention about those who can’t afford three square meal a day).  We see the big guys earn big, and the small ones throwing off good values and surrendering to the lure of these get-rich quick schemes of programs that promote mendicancy.  The last line is a given, after all (and at the risk of you shouting non-sequitur), one cannot love his neighbor, much less forgive his enemy on an empty stomach.

 

So, is it a helpless world?  Should we succumb to that sense of helplessness?  Saying Yes is tempting, but that’s not being a Filipino, is it?

 

 

Last Monday, the City Government through the CSWDO turned over financial assistance for the various livelihood program of the City’s organization of personas with disabilities.  Mayor Mel Senen S. Sarmiento and CSWDO Vir Tomnob greeted the groups from Calbayog and Oquendo Districts who received assistance for their hog-fattening program; and Tinambacan District for their rice retailing project.

 

The organization counts some 1,995 persons with disabilities as members.

Let’s talk about how women in Calbayog are making a difference.  I’m not going to into details on the coming and goings of their organization.  Let’s focus on something that everyone is familiar with:  money (and how the group is making good out of it).  A few weeks ago, I mentioned about a women’s group in Calbayog receiving funding for their livelihood programs.  The group is called the BAHATI incorporated.  They received 540,000 pesos in assistance.  This making a total of 1.6 million pesos worth of livelihood assistance being extended from year 2002 to February 2, 2006.

 

BAHATI is an acronym for Bagacay, Hamorawon and Tinambacan.  The three  barangays that graduated from the 16 women’s groups that are beneficiaries of the Self-Employment Assistance-Kaunlaran (SEA) Program.  As such, the members can avail of a grant of ten thousand pesos for their ten thousand pesos with easy payment scheme for their alternative livelihood projects.  In addition, they are qualified to avail of a 25 thousand peso housing assistance, a no-interest loan payable in five years.

 

The groups must be doing something good.  If assets is a proof, all groups have a consolidated asset amounting to 4.6 million pesos.

 

            The last time I came across data on poverty incidence in the region was the one given out by a government agency wherein the poverty threshold at 65% living at 900 pesos a month.  More or less the same figure was used by the city government.

 

            Let me give you some interesting data about Barangay Maysalong.  It’s a barangay located in the Lower Happy Valley area.  In 2004,  the CSWDO conducted a survey (one that Mr. Tomnob refers to as an “inverted” survey).  Out of the 49 household in the said Barangay, only 2 households earn two thousand pesos a month.  I think we should it from there.  The Barangay is reachable via good road.  Most people earn their keep by, you don’t have to guess, agriculture.

 

            This is it for now.  Let me give you some more of the valentine thoughts I left you with last week.

           

            TRUE LOVE doesn’t have a happy ending, that’s because true love doesn’t have an ending.

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