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A Sense of Urgency

I was expecting for a few days of some power outage, strong winds, heavy rains, and cuddling up in bed with time off from work. But, we got the usual heat. (At least, there was one night when the temperature went down a bit.) Hey, I thought it was a supertyphoon. No, I’m not disappointed that the typhoon did not cause work suspension. We should actually be grateful that Betty did not run us through. Just the sound of its international name gives an uncomfortable feeling of fear. It sounds like a war is coming. We waited for it. We stacked food. We bought a gallon of gas for the generator. Then, sunlight came… which is good, of course.

After ravaging Guam, Mawar came and went with little damage for a supertyphoon. The rest of the nation has to commend and applaud how the authorities and the community as a whole faced the superstorm head-on. No one was caught by surprise; because after all, the whole nation knows it’s coming. (Actually, Filipinos prepared for it earlier and the typhoon moved more slowly, making the anticipation longer than it should have been.) The whole community moved with urgency. It seemed like everyone opened and offered themselves to ensure the safety of every citizen. I was browsing through news reports last Sunday; looking for news that our area is already on signal no. 1. What I got was news of adopt-a-neighbor and churches opening as evacuation centers. I find that simply amazing. I imagine neighbors with more spacious homes letting in neighbors from smaller houses and churches actually doing God’s work of caring for the poor. Every LGU should adapt that campaign as a response to crisis situations. Maybe that would also work on earthquakes or bombings from an aggressive neighboring country. Too bad it would not work in a viral outbreak. I appreciated how authorities kept evacuees from coming home despite the seemingly better weather conditions due to the typhoon having gone past. According to people in charge, they wanted to make sure that Betty was completely out of PAOR before letting the people go under the skies to their homes. That is commendable. From entry to exit, it was all done with careful urgency.

While evacuation became urgent, our legislators were pushing the urgency of what the President marked as “urgent”. What is so urgent with the Maharlika Investment Fund? Is it as urgent as safety from a coming supertyphoon? Sen. Mark Villar who supposedly sponsored the bill, responded that poverty is urgent, and that anything that could alleviate poverty is of urgent concern. (I’m not sure if that’s really the way he said it, but it sounded like that.) What was that again? Poverty is an urgent concern? I guess it is. Well, evacuation from an approaching typhoon is urgent, for safety. Rushing to the toilet in the middle of tummy turmoil is urgent, to prevent a mess. I would agree that poverty is a very important concern. But is it “urgent”? Poverty has been a part of society for centuries now. Many

Filipinos have been in poverty. To call it “urgent’ just does not fit. It’s like forcing a square peg on round hole. I guess you could fit it, but it seems awkward.

Supposing it really is urgent, the evacuation from the typhoon of poverty is Maharlika Investment Fund? Would Maharlika Fund immediately offer poor people shelter from the torrents of poverty? See, it just doesn’t fit.

Okay, maybe if the investment reaps its returns, the earning could help alleviate poverty. But that would take a considerably lengthy span of time. There’s the investment, then the return, then the profit, then the distribution of that profit to poverty stricken populace. That’s not really how you address something urgent like a bleeding open wound.

The Senator obviously showed some sense of cluelessness, pointing to the President knowing its true urgency. Should not bill sponsors be adept with the knowledge of and all those related to the proposed law? But the sponsor seemed to be walking with blurred vision around his own bill. What seems to be clear is that the bill’s supporters move under the bidding of the President.

It was just last week when Mawar started to move toward the Philippines and the MIF bill was marked “urgent” by the President. Then automatically, as if with a snap of a finger, administration senators went to work, started making moves, taking positions, and push it to the Palace towards the pleasure of the President. The probably smallest minority in the history of the Senate tries to put it under scrutiny, but what can they do when in their meager number, they are up against colleagues who are not really familiar with the source of the bill, who think that they should quit questioning and go voting, and under a leader who seems to be rushing with urgency to get the whole thing done with?

What could go wrong? It’s an investment fund. It’s not like genocide, isn’t it? But on one hand, Philippine government is not really one that is known for being good at investing. So, isn’t that scary? On another hand, why is this all of a sudden, urgent? Just about a week or so ago, GMA was demoted and VP Duterte resigned from Lakas which happens to have a large membership among congressmen. Oh wait….

Revelation 22:20: He who testifies “to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”


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