PHNO HEADLINE NEWS THIS WEEK

PALACE: WE HAVE LONG-TERM SOLUTIONS TO METRO TRAFFIC CONGESTION


Communication Secretary Herminio Colonia Jr. assured on Thursday that the government has long-term solutions for the traffic problem in the country. MANILA, JANUARY 26, 2015 (PHILSTAR) By Patricia Lourdes Viray - Malacañang assured on Thursday that the government is eyeing for a long-term solution to the traffic congestion in the country's capital. Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. told the press during a press briefing in Malacañang that the government has long-term traffic management and infrastructure program to address the problem. "Kaya nga tayo may umiiral na number coding sa mga pribadong sasakyan, nakikiisa ang mga private vehicle owners sa pag-regulate ng paggamit nila ng pribadong sasakyan para maibsan ang pagsisikip ng ating main thoroughfares," Coloma added. READ MORE...

ALSO: Don’t blame us for Mendiola massacre–Palace


Farmers from Southern Tagalog region dramatize the Mendiola Massacre in marking the 28th anniversary of the violent dispersal of a farmers' protest at the foot of the Mendiola Bridge near Malacañan Palace, where at least 13 farmers were killed on Jan. 22, 1987. DANNY PATA While the Aquino administration is “saddened” by the loss of lives in the Mendiola massacre 28 years ago, Malacañang on Thursday opposed critics’ view that President Benigno Aquino III is accountable for the deaths of the farmers demanding agrarian during the term of his mother, the late President Corazon Aquino. “It is a historical event remembered annually… But perhaps it is not appropriate or timely to lay it at the door of the current administration, as everybody knows that this did not happen today. It is not right, it is not reasonable to make the current administration responsible for it,” said Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. Coloma was responding to a question noting that the slain farmers have yet to get justice after nearly three decades since the massacre. Thirteen farmers were killed when security forces OPENED fire as thousands of land reform advocates marched on Mendiola Bridge on Jan. 22, 1987. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: Dinky in hot water for rounding up poor during papal visit; homeless families in Roxas Blvd upset 'itinago' from the Pope, stayed in "family camp" a nightmare


DIINKY SOLIMAN ---Social Welfare Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman is in hot water for allegedly rounding up more than 500 homeless street kids and their families to clear the streets of eyesores during the papal visit. But Malacañang is standing firm behind the embattled Cabinet official and her noble initiative misconstrued by some critics. Deputy presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte denied that Soliman had cruelly taken away street urchins from the Pope’s view during his five-day pastoral trip saying the families were brought to a Batangas resort for an evaluation on their possible inclusion to the “modified conditional CASH transfer program.” There are reports that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reportedly paid a million during the five-day stay at the resort at P4,000 a night per room. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: Street kids treated to resort stay during papal visit – Palace says policy initiative of PNoy


HIDEAWAY: Photos from the website of the Chateau Royale Resort in Nasugbu, Batangas show the club house and a row of cabins, where nearly 500 beggars and street children from Manila were booked for six days and five nights during the papal visit. MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang admitted yesterday that street children were rounded up during Pope Francis’ recent visit but said the children were “treated” to a stay in a resort. Officials justified the move by saying it is a policy of the Aquino administration to bring poor children and their families to recreation centers. “They were not hidden. As explained by Secretary (Corazon) Soliman… this was not the first case where the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) has done that,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said over national television. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: Beggars plucked off streets for papal visit; they were back after Pope left Jan 19


They’re back! Street Children play along Roxas Blvd. in Manila after a brief “vacation” at a resort in Batangas where they were taken during the four-day visit of Pope Francis. Photo by Ruy L. Martinez The Philippine government came under fire on Friday after admitting that hundreds of homeless people were taken off Manila’s streets and put into luxury accommodation during Pope Francis’ recent visit, when he preached compassion for the poor. Lawmakers demanded an explanation after Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman revealed that 490 beggars and homeless people were taken to air-conditioned log cabins at a resort near Manila for the January 15 to 19 visit.READ MORE., plus reponses from readers.....

ALSO: The work begins


POPE WAVES TO CROWD, LEAVES MANILA --After a truly successful pastoral — caring, teaching, leading — visit of the good and lovable, wise and holy Pope Francis, the renewed pursuant implementing Pastoral Ministry of the Church in the Philippines begins by working for the deeper understanding and consequent observance of his reminders, advisories and mandates. It was great to see him! It was a big experience to witness his kindness, humility and concern! It was a blessing to listen to him! According to him: The poor are crying for help. They are all over the land — in urban and rural areas, in the slums, in the streets begging, in the pavements sleeping. Children are begging for food, shelter and clothing, for care, safety and education. Their parents have no work. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Palace: We have long-term solutions to metro traffic congestion


Communication Secretary Herminio Colonia Jr. assured on Thursday that the government has long-term solutions for the traffic problem in the country.

MANILA, JANUARY 24, 2015 (PHILSTAR) By Patricia Lourdes Viray - Malacañang assured on Thursday that the government is eyeing for a long-term solution to the traffic congestion in the country's capital.

Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. told the press during a press briefing in Malacañang that the government has long-term traffic management and infrastructure program to address the problem.

"Kaya nga tayo may umiiral na number coding sa mga pribadong sasakyan, nakikiisa ang mga private vehicle owners sa pag-regulate ng paggamit nila ng pribadong sasakyan para maibsan ang pagsisikip ng ating main thoroughfares," Coloma added.

According to Coloma, the National Economic Development Authority has approved the Japan International Cooperation Agency's recommendation on how to address the traffic problem in Metro Manila.

A recent study from Numbeo showed that the Philipines ranked fourth in Asia and ninth in the world among countries with the worst traffic situation.

The Philippines garnered 202.31 points in the traffic index, which was defined as the “composite index of time consumed in traffic due to job commute, estimation of time consumption dissatisfaction, carbon dioxide consumption estimation in traffic, and overall inefficiencies in the traffic system.”


INQUIRER

Don’t blame us for Mendiola massacre–Palace Nikko Dizon @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 8:36 AM | Friday, January 23rd, 2015


Farmers from Southern Tagalog region dramatize the Mendiola Massacre in marking the 28th anniversary of the violent dispersal of a farmers' protest at the foot of the Mendiola Bridge near Malacañan Palace, where at least 13 farmers were killed on Jan. 22, 1987.  President Benigno Aquino III’s administration is no longer responsible in seeking justice for victims of the 1987 Mendiola massacre, a Malacañang official said Thursday. At a press briefing, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said it was “unreasonable” to seek justice from the Aquino administration for an incident that happened 28 years ago. “Baka naman hindi angkop o hindi napapanahon Danny Pata

MANILA, Philippines—While the Aquino administration is “saddened” by the loss of lives in the Mendiola massacre 28 years ago, Malacañang on Thursday opposed critics’ view that President Benigno Aquino III is accountable for the deaths of the farmers demanding agrarian during the term of his mother, the late President Corazon Aquino.

“It is a historical event remembered annually… But perhaps it is not appropriate or timely to lay it at the door of the current administration, as everybody knows that this did not happen today. It is not right, it is not reasonable to make the current administration responsible for it,” said Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr.

Coloma was responding to a question noting that the slain farmers have yet to get justice after nearly three decades since the massacre.

Thirteen farmers were killed when security forces OPENED fire as thousands of land reform advocates marched on Mendiola Bridge on Jan. 22, 1987.

They urged then President Cory Aquino to implement genuine land reform by distributing land to farmers.

Coloma said he was not certain if those commemorating the Mendiola massacre are calling for justice from the incumbent administration.

“If people had been charged, the process is with the judiciary. That is not under the administration. Perhaps, what we can say is up to now, of course, we are saddened by the loss of lives. We know that this should not have happened and the leaders of government at that time also did not want anyone killed in the middle of expressing their demands,” Coloma said in Filipino.

President’s Aquino mother had pushed for a Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law, seen as among the policies that supported social justice and equality after more than two decades of martial rule.


PHILSTAR

Dinky in hot water for rounding up poor during papal visit by Genalyn D. Kabiling, Ben Rosario & Jenny Manongdo January 24, 2015 (updated) Share this:


DINKY SOLIMAN

Social Welfare Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman is in hot water for allegedly rounding up more than 500 homeless street kids and their families to clear the streets of eyesores during the papal visit. But Malacañang is standing firm behind the embattled Cabinet official and her noble initiative misconstrued by some critics.

Deputy presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte denied that Soliman had cruelly taken away street urchins from the Pope’s view during his five-day pastoral trip saying the families were brought to a Batangas resort for an evaluation on their possible inclusion to the “modified conditional CASH transfer program.”

There are reports that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reportedly paid a million during the five-day stay at the resort at P4,000 a night per room.

Valte claimed this was not the first time the DSWD implemented such program where the government provided housing rent to ambulant families for six months to a year, livelihood aid, and skills training program. The program, she stressed was initiated in 2012 and implemented twice last year.

“It’s not that they’re being hidden. Of course, nakita po natin ‘yung doon sa Roxas Boulevard kung gaano siya dinumog ng mga tao, (we saw the thick crowd that awaited the Pope along Roxas Boulevard) and also for the safety of the people who sleep on the center island and in some of the other areas,” Valte said.

SWEPT UNDER THE RUG

But lawmakers are not convinced of Soliman’s noble act and wanted her to explain before Congress.

Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo, chairman of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development, has agreed to lead a congressional inquiry into reports claiming that street children and homeless families were taken off the streets of Metro Manila while Pope Francis was in the country.

“They (poor Filipinos) were the reason why the Pope went here. It’s difficult to understand why they have to be hidden from his sight,” said Castelo.

Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza said Soliman “should explain why she committed such an affront to the dignity of these street children and homeless people who were reportedly whisked away from the streets of Manila to a resort in Batangas.

He stressed the problem of extreme poverty should be addressed instead of being “swept under the rug.”

‘FAMILY CAMP’

“Gusto sana naming makita si Pope kaso sabi sa amin kailangan ‘malinis’ yung mga kalsada pagdating niya. (We wanted to see the Pope but we were told that the streets should be ‘clean’ when the pope arrives),” a street waif told the Manila Bulletin yesterday.

The homeless families on Roxas Boulevard and Mehan Garden in Manila said social workers plucked them from the streets and loaded them in seven buses on the night of January 14 reportedly for a “camping” activity. They were taken to Chateau Royale in Nasugbu, Batangas where they stayed until January 19, the end of Pope Francis’ pastoral visit. But while they were promised a memorable stay, the six-day “family camp” that included teach-ins turned out to be a nightmare for some.

FOOD RIOTS

“There was not enough food for all of us. On the first day, there was chicken and fish. But in the succeeding days, the food serving became small. Yes, we were fed four times a day but it was not enough for us and it resulted in fights. Chairs were destroyed because of the riot. Some of the men held fan knives. The security guards were not able to do anything. One of them fired a warning shot until two policemen arrived and pacified those who were fighting,” Jeffrey Tipigar told Manila Bulletin.

The stretch of the Baywalk on Roxas Boulevard is home to Tipigar and his family. He earns a living selling novelty items at Rizal Park and nearby streets.

Tipigar was with his common-law wife Joy Ramirez, and their two-month-old daughter, Ashley. Tipigar regrets going to the resort counting what he had lost in terms of income in five days.

“We were told we were going to a happy place…I missed out on all the INCOME OPPORTUNITIES. My friend said they earned P1,500 during the event in Quirino Grandstand,” Tipigar lamented.

Tipigar said the riot brought them mental stress as he feared for his family’s safety.

“I was afraid for my daughter. The facilitators told us: ‘Mga yagit na nga kayo, hindi pa kayo marunong makisama!’” he said. “What can we do? We are hungry and there was not enough food,” Tipigar added, dismay written all over his face.

Ramirez said she had wanted to see Pope Francis in person but she had to content herself seeing him on TV.

According to Tipigar, they were told to sign a paper that indicated they received CASH from the DSWD. There was no CASH dole outs. All they received, Tipigar said, were grocery items consisting of five kilos of rice, three cans of corned beef, and five cans of sardines before they were returned to the streets.

The family also received clothes and toiletries. But Tipigar said the clothes were stolen.

“We will never go back there even if they force us to,” Tipigar strongly said.

CONFUSION, PROMISES

The families were treated to days filled with games, singing, and swimming inside the posh Batangas resort. “They told us the streets should be ‘clean’ when the Pope arrives. They said the Pope might drop by the resort and see us. We were also told that Secretary Dinky Soliman would see us. Both of them did not come,” Rommel Bangcosta told Manila Bulletin at his place at the Mehan Garden near the Manila City Hall.

“Parang itinago kami kay Pope (It’s as if we were hidden from the Pope),” Judy Ann Cruz, 17, said. “Kahit hindi ko malapitan, sana kahit sa malayuan lang nakita ko (Even if I could not go near him, I will be content to see him from a distance).”

Cruz admitted this was not the first time the DSWD rounded up street kids. Last year, she said, they were taken to the Island Cove in Cavite.

Bangcosta, however, said he enjoyed the “family camp” which was a break from his daily routine. Kids, aged six and seven, enjoyed the games and videoke although they were not given money at the end of the trip, he said.

Bangcosta, who sells scraps for a living, said he did not receive cash but was given five kilos of rice, five sachets of instant coffee, five cans of sardines, and clothes after the trip.

They were also made to sign a paper that looked like an identification card, proof that they PARTICIPATED in the DSWD “outing.” But until yesterday, he has not received a copy of the ID. (See DSWD’s side http://www.mb.com.ph/street-kids-batangas-field-trip-coincided-with-papal-visit-dswd/)


PHILSTAR

Street kids treated to resort stay during papal visit – Palace says it's Aquino policy By Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 24, 2015 - 12:00am 6 37 googleplus0 6


HIDEAWAY: Photos from the website of the Chateau Royale Resort in Nasugbu, Batangas show the club house and a row of cabins, where nearly 500 beggars and street children from Manila were booked for six days and five nights during the papal visit.

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang admitted yesterday that street children were rounded up during Pope Francis’ recent visit but said the children were “treated” to a stay in a resort.

Officials justified the move by saying it is a policy of the Aquino administration to bring poor children and their families to recreation centers.

“They were not hidden. As explained by Secretary (Corazon) Soliman… this was not the first case where the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) has done that,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said over national television.

Lawmakers demanded an explanation after Soliman revealed 490 beggars and homeless people were taken to the Chateau Royale Resort in Nasugbu, Batangas during the Jan. 15-19 papal visit.

“The pope would have wanted to see the Philippines, WARTS and all. Let us not pretend that we are a first-world country,” said Kabataan party-list Rep. Terry Ridon, who is initiating a congressional inquiry.

Valte, however, refuted the use of the word “hidden” to describe the move, which she explained was “part of the modified” conditional CASH transfer (CCT) program of the DSWD – purportedly for the safety of the street children themselves so they would not be victims in case of a stampede.

“It’s not that they’re being hidden. Of course, it was also for the safety of the people who sleep on the center island and in some of the other areas. We saw them along Roxas Boulevard where they turned up in large numbers in trying to greet the pope,” she said.

There have also been other batches of street children brought to resorts other than during the pope’s visit.

Valte said Soliman had explained the move was part of the DWSD’s program since 2012 to address the needs of the homeless.

Reports showed the DSWD booked the street children and their families, mostly from Manila, Pasay and Parañaque, in 70 rooms for a “family camp.”

Rates for each room cost P6,300 daily but the agency managed to get a discount at P4,000.

They all checked out on Jan. 19, the day Pope Francis left Manila for Rome.

The incident was reported in TIME magazine where Soliman defended her move, saying the national government had to remove the street children “so that they would not be vulnerable to the influx of people coming to witness the pope.”

Another report published in British tabloid Daily Mail Online quoted Fr. Shay Cullen, founder of non-government organization Preda Foundation, as saying that detained children were “locked up in a dungeon” and kept under dire circumstances.

Soliman said the street people, many of whom live in shanties and hammocks tied to palm trees along the Manila Bay seafront, were removed from Roxas Boulevard before the papal visit.

A record crowd of six million flooded Roxas Boulevard on Sunday to hear Pope Francis celebrate mass in Rizal Park, the highlight of his tour in the Philippines where he preached “mercy and compassion” for the poor.

But the homeless were instead taken to plush accommodations at a hilltop resort in Batangas during the trip, before being deposited back on the streets hours after the pontiff’s departure on Monday.

Valte pointed out the benefit of the CCT program.

“Again, it’s not the first time that this program has been implemented. They are in the third batch,” Valte said, referring to the street children and homeless taken to the Batangas resort.

Doors and toilets

Soliman defended the program, denying allegations that she tried to hide the impression of poverty from the pope.

“You cannot hide poverty. When the pope landed, the first thing he saw were the shanties by the river,” she said.

Soliman added the homeless would have been “vulnerable to syndicates and discriminated (against) a lot” had they stayed in the area.

She also said they had received training as part of a government scheme launched last year to provide 11,000 homeless families with rent-free accommodation for up to a year. So far the program has helped 2,000. – Christina Mendez, Rainier Allan Ronda


MANILA TIMES

Beggars plucked off streets for papal visit for January 15 to 19 January 23, 2015 11:37 pm


They’re back Street Children play along Roxas Blvd. in Manila after a brief “vacation” at a resort in Batangas where they were taken during the four-day visit of Pope Francis. Photo by Ruy L. Martinez

The Philippine government came under fire on Friday after admitting that hundreds of homeless people were taken off Manila’s streets and put into luxury accommodation during Pope Francis’ recent visit, when he preached compassion for the poor.
Lawmakers demanded an explanation after Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman revealed that 490 beggars and homeless people were taken to air-conditioned log cabins at a resort near Manila for the January 15 to 19 visit.
“The Pope would have wanted to see the Philippines, WARTS and all. Let us not pretend that we are a First World country,” Rep. Terry Ridon, who is initiating a congressional inquiry, said.
Soliman said the street people, many of whom live in shanties and hammocks tied to palm trees along the Manila Bay seafront, were removed from Roxas Boulevard before the visit.
A record crowd of six million flooded the bayside road last Sunday to hear Pope Francis celebrate Mass in nearby Luneta (Rizal Park).
But the homeless were instead taken to plush accommodation at a hilltop resort south of Manila during the trip, before being deposited back on the streets hours after the pontiff’s departure last Monday.
Renato Reyes, secretary-general of the left-wing group Bayan, criticized the decision, saying the government was “whitewashing poverty.”
But Soliman said the homeless would have been “vulnerable to syndicates and discriminated (against) a lot” had they stayed in the area.
“You cannot hide poverty. When the Pope landed, the first thing he saw was the shanties by the river,” she told Agence France-Presse.
The Chateau Royale resort where the homeless people stayed offers swimming pools and rock-climbing facilities, and usually charges up to P24,000 for a room per night, according to its website.
Soliman said the government did not pay the full price, without providing details.
Buhay Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza said Soliman should face a congressional probe to explain “why she committed such an affront to the dignity of these streetchildren and homeless people who were reportedly whisked away from the streets of Manila to a resort in Batangas.”
“The problem of extreme poverty, as evidenced by the beggars and streetchildren, is a very real problem that needs to be addressed. This problem should not be swept under the rug.
Hiding them does not solve the problem of vagrancy. Now that the Pope has left, they are back on the streets, fending for themselves,” he added.
“My advice to Secretary Soliman is for her to CONTINUE what she just did—take care of the beggars, streetchildren and the homeless, feed them and give them a place to stay. This is the reason why they have an almost P100-billion budget to help the poorest of the poor,” Atienza said.

5 Responses to Beggars plucked off streets for papal visit

apolonio reyes says:
January 24, 2015 at 7:54 am
Nuon martial law, binabakuran ng mataas para hindi Makita ang tinitirahan ng mga illegal dwellers sa Metro Manila & subburbs ( Manila, Pasay, Quezon City, Caloocan, Paranaque, San Juan, Pasig etc. ).
Ngayon nag up-grade na si Sekwatary Dinky Soliman at pinatago nya lahat ng mga pulubi at pamilya sa isang luxury resort sa Batangas na mayayaman lamang ang nakaka punta para hindi makita ng Santo Papa ang symbol kahirapan dito sa atin at pinagtangol pa sya ni Usekwatary Abigail Valte na hindi naman nila tinago pagka’t alam naman at malalaman din ito ng Santo Papa at ng buong mundo. Tama, Abi pagka’t sabi ni Ted Failon sa TV Patrol ay nasa news na ng Time magazine ang estorya nyo ni Sekwatary Soliman at 500 PULUBI.
Yuon naman pala, eh bakit nyo pa ginastusan ng milyon piso ang mga ito nang bumisita ang Santo Papa at ngayon binalik nyo din maging pulubi sa kahabaan ng Roxas Blvd.?? Pinapakita lang nyo mga ungoy ang walang pakundanagn pag LUSTAY NG PERA NG BAYAN. BAKIT DI NA LANG NYO SILA KINULONG MUNA SA NINOY AQUINO STADIUM NA MALAPIT AT DI KAYO GAGASTOS NG MILYON. Di ba Bayan?
Reply

Alejo Rosete says:
January 24, 2015 at 7:00 am
Mga hipocrito.
Is this the Soliman sa Hyatt 10?
Reply
Henry says:
January 24, 2015 at 12:59 am
Fire Dinky. Fire her immediately. She has a warped mentality, insensitive and corrupt.
Reply

w.andrada says:
January 24, 2015 at 12:46 am
If the Officials were able to round up all these homeless and beggars during the Papal visit, President Aquino should be able to issue an executive order to relocate them permanently into rehab centers or self sustaining communes similar to Israels model of Kibbutzim These model to solve homelessness and poverty has been very successful in Israel and is now a model in some African countries.where there is a refugee problem. It is a communal living with initial government subsidy with a goal of independence and self sustainability With the money spent on housing where no significant results are notable because of corruption, I suggest somebody in an influential position should take note of this suggestion.and pass it along to the President.or Congress. This officials should also consider outsourcing the operation of our Airport amenities to Shangrilla or four Seasons to take it out of the worlds worst International Airport.Disney corporation can be outsourced to help with the traffic, infrastructure, transportation and waste management of Metro Manila, There should be a blueprint, a Marshall plan for the entire country with a goal to be one of the best in cleanliness, beauty,and environmental friendly,Poverty can be alleviated if there is less corruption and more government programs to get the poor into financial independence.Too much bureaucracy and corruption is the problem why we are very slow in progress. Outsource, Partnership with other Nations to solve our inefficient system, innovation, trying the winning modalitiies that has been tried. This is the solution for the Philippines to go forward.

Reply
Roldan Guerrero says:
January 24, 2015 at 12:04 am
DINKY SOLIMAN had been bypassed more than 30 times before getting confirmation of appointment by the Commission on Appointments. This means she is not the right person for the JOB but however forced herself to the agency because of so much money to STEAL in DSWD. DAP must have been used to bribe the members of Commission on Appointments for the sudden turn of events that after so many rejections she made it. ANG KAPAL NG MUKHA NG DWENDE NA ITO! IF Soliman has a little bit of SELF DIGNITY left in herself, SHE SHOULD RESIGN WITHOUT DELAY! PNOY must be aware of what is happening. It might have been done through his order. BOTH PINOY AND SOLIMAN ARE NOT NEEDED IN THIS GOVERNMENT. FOR THE GOOD OF THE FILIPINO PEOPLE, BOTH OF YOU SHOULD EVAPORATE IN YOUR POSITIONS!
Reply


TRIBUNE

VIEWPOINT: The work begins Written by Archbishop Oscar V.Cruz Thursday, 22 January 2015 00:00

After a truly successful pastoral — caring, teaching, leading — visit of the good and lovable, wise and holy Pope Francis, the renewed pursuant implementing Pastoral Ministry of the Church in the Philippines begins by working for the deeper understanding and consequent observance of his reminders, advisories and mandates. It was great to see him! It was a big experience to witness his kindness, humility and concern! It was a blessing to listen to him!

According to him: The poor are crying for help. They are all over the land — in urban and rural areas, in the slums, in the streets begging, in the pavements sleeping. Children are begging for food, shelter and clothing, for care, safety and education. Their parents have no work.

Meanwhile, there is much GAMBLING among the people, not to mention the reign of criminals, the proliferation of drugs and addiction thereto.


HASTA TA VISTA! COME BACK, THANK YOU

The families are threatened by parents leaving their children behind to find work abroad. Decent housing, they do not have. How to satisfy their needs, they do not know. How to send their children to school, they have not the means. So is it that the answer of the government to all these is to prevent the birth of children through all possible ways and means to impede the coming of life.

The country is suffering not only from corruption and consequent maldevelopment but also from ideological COLONIZATION. While the former guarantees the continued poverty of the Filipinos, the latter undermines their sound cultural traits and moral value system. Unfilipinos they ultimately become.

So the work begins.

The clergy have to minister to the people not only by attending to their spiritual but also material needs, not simply by catering to their heavenly quest but also by looking after their earthly preoccupations.

This pastoral ministry is in perfect accord with the two fundamental Commandments of Love of God and Love of Neighbor — neither simply one or the other but both.

The Religious have to look after the human welfare — the mental, ethical, social — requirements of those committed to their care, those who ask and/or need their attention, those who are lost and need their care. More than anything else, the active Religious vocation is meant for serving others. It is in serving others that they find their real self.

The laity have to be attentive to the cries for help of their fellow laymen and women, their fellow married couples, their fellow fathers and mothers. More than the clergy and the religious, they understand better the aspirations of those who have the same vocation. The laity is the wealth of the Church — particularly in the Philippines.

(Reprinted with permission of Archbishop Emeritus Oscar V. Cruz, from www.ovc.blogspot.com  )


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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