For bringing honor and inspiration to her country and people, Philippine Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz deserves to be commissioned as an officer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
On this note, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson suggested Tuesday to the Philippine Air Force (PAF) leadership that Diaz, a sergeant, be given such a commission, subject to existing laws and AFP regulations.
“As chairman of the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, I would strongly recommend to the AFP leadership that she be given a rank as a commissioned officer of the PAF. It’s the least the service can give her,” Lacson said in an interview on CNN Philippines.
“Such a commission – either as a reserve or regular officer – is not just in recognition of her extraordinary feat, but also in recognition of her great potential to provide a good example to her fellow soldiers both as an athlete and as a leader,” he added.
More than making history for bringing the Philippines its first Olympic Gold Medal, weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz has brought national honor, national pride, and good news to the Philippines at a time we Filipinos need them most.
And more than lifting the nation on her shoulders and beating a field that included China’s pride, Hidilyn has become a unifying and rallying point for us Filipinos, to carry the weight of the humongous problems we face.
Before Hidilyn, our first ever medal at the Games was won by swimmer Teofilo Yldefonso who wore bronze after the men’s 200m backstroke at the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam. Since then, the Philippines celebrated a total of 10 Olympic medals: three silver and seven bronze – and tonight, the previously elusive gold.
Mabuhay ka, Hidilyn! Mabuhay ang ating mga atleta! Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!
Dalawang malalakas na sampal ang tumama sa mga Pinoy sa panahon ng pandemya dahil sa mahigit na P63 bilyong hindi ginamit na pondo sa Bayanihan 2 – kasama ang P46.397 bilyon na “undisbursed” at P17.23 bilyong “unobligated,” ayon kay Senador Panfilo Lacson nitong Lunes.
Isiniwalat ito ni Lacson matapos ang pagsasaliksik ng mga naturang datos bunga ng unang akusasyon ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte na sinabi umano ng mambabatas na mababa ang paggugol ng pamahalaan sa mga pondo nito ngayong pandemya.
“We should keep in mind that underspending is determined not by fund releases but by obligations and disbursements. And based on my research, is there underspending? Yes!” banggit ni Lacson sa panayam ng Radyo 5.
No thanks to a P63 billion-plus underspending by the government under Bayanihan 2 – with some P46.397 billion undisbursed and P17.273 billion unobligated – Filipinos whose lives and livelihoods were affected by the pandemic have been hit with a double whammy as much-needed aid did not reach them, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said on Monday.
“We should keep in mind that underspending is determined not by fund releases but by obligations and disbursements. And based on my research, is there underspending? Yes!” Lacson said in an interview on Radyo 5.
The President got his information all mixed up. I am not the Senator who claimed there was underspending under the Bayanihan fund. I’m quite sure because I don’t have the data on the matter, and I don’t speak without basis. Some other legislators did.
My speech before the Rotary Club last Friday dealt with pre-pandemic budget underspending from 2017 to 2019, on the annual average of P331 billion against our yearly gross borrowings of almost P1 trillion during the same period. Nothing to do with Bayanihan.
With that said, I cannot emphasize enough the need for the proper spending of our limited resources, regardless of whether these are from the Bayanihan or not. Our national debt has ballooned to P11.07 trillion as of end-May. Each one of us, even those newly born, is in debt by P100,000. We must make sure taxpayers’ money will be used judiciously.
And at the risk of sounding like a broken record, there is no room to mix business and health, especially during a time of extreme emergency like the pandemic.
Ang mga katagang ito ang dadalhin ng tambalang Ping Lacson-Tito Sotto sa hangarin nilang maibalik ang tiwala ng sambayanan sa pamahalaan.
“I will not fail you. I will not fail the Filipino people. We will not fail you. This is our last hurrah in public service, there is no room for selfish interests or personal motives,” seryosong pananalita ni Lacson sa panayam sa kanya ng DWIZ radio nitong Sabado.
“We have no other agenda. Considering our age and track record in public service, we have something to offer the Filipino people,” dagdag ni Lacson.
This is the rallying cry of Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson and Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III as they seek to restore Filipinos’ trust in the government.
“I will not fail you. I will not fail the Filipino people. We will not fail you. This is our last hurrah in public service, there is no room for selfish interests or personal motives,” Lacson said in an interview on DWIZ radio Saturday.
“We have no other agenda. Considering our age and track record in public service, we have something to offer the Filipino people,” he added.
It is sad that as individuals, we have developed this wrong attitude of checking on our medicine cabinets at home only when somebody already gets sick or hurt, when we should always be prepared with making available medicines for common colds, cough, fever as well as unexpected injuries and emergencies.
But it is pathetic that our national health authorities are no different, being reactive instead of proactive. Knowing the Delta variant has already gripped India and Indonesia, it seems they have not prepared adequately.
The reports involving the vessels from Indonesia that moored in Butuan – where the crew became potential spreaders of the Delta variant – are a case in point to highlight that “medicine cabinet” attitude of our authorities. It seems nothing has changed from early 2020, when our health officials failed miserably in the conduct of contact tracing on the fellow passengers of a Wuhan couple who traveled from Cebu to Dumaguete and Manila. Worse, government refused to close our borders to travelers from Mainland China when we already knew that the first known COVID-19 patient came from Wuhan, China in December 2019.
That said, the first order of the day for the next leader of the country is to scout for a more qualified and better person at the helm of the Health Department, and make sure that business and health don’t mix especially during a time of extreme emergency like the pandemic.
Also, the public sector must always take the lead and initiative from the private sector in addressing health emergencies, but not to a point of discouraging the latter from being partners in the endeavor. For, if the private sector has taken the initiative, it can only mean that the government is failing to address the problem at hand. Sadly, it is what is happening.
The effects of global warming have become evident in that a lot has changed in our environment. The deadly flooding that devastated parts of western Europe is the most recent – and grim – proof of this.
That being said, no nation can do it alone. It is time for the community of nations to really take this issue very seriously. The Earth can only take so much abuse, cruelty and punishment from man. If we still cannot see some obvious acts of revenge from Mother Nature, we may wake up one day personally witnessing her fury upon us, one way or the other.
Meanwhile, Senate President Tito Sotto and I continue to do our research on climate change and related issues, as the issue was consistently brought up in the consultations that we have conducted so far.
Mas magiging epektibo at matagumpay ang mga hakbang para basagin ang “vicious cycle” ng korapsiyon, kung makikiisa at magiging aktibo ang publiko sa laban na ito.
Isa ito sa mga nakikitang solusyon ni Senador Panfilo Lacson, sa harap ng katotohanan na naging ugali na ng mga nasasangkot na magpalamig at manahimik lamang muna hanggang sa tuluyan nang makalimutan ng tao ang kanilang ginawa.
“Some officials have lost all sense of shame. Even if charges are filed against them, they just lie low because they know that once the issue dies down and the public no longer thinks much of it, they can go back to their old ways,” banggit ni Lacson sa panayam ng Radyo Katribu.
“That said, the vicious cycle of corruption is not limited to those in government. It takes two to tango: those who corrupt – and the public who wittingly or otherwise turns a blind eye,” dagdag ng mambabatas.