Now it can be said. Our government is indeed “a government of press releases.” It paints its own picture of the Philippine situation other than the reality. It says that our economy has improved, that in fact we have a surplus of 18 billion pesos and are more than willing to increase the salary of our legislators 100% as if to award them for a job well done.
However, this wonderland the government is talking about is only on paper no less valuable than the fairy tales concocted by imaginative authors to tiltillate our minds.
Reports coming to us from the various parishes are different. Most small vendors who are beneficiaries of the Church’s lending facilities could no longer pay their dues on time. A ganta of rice now cost 37 pesos and in some towns it has already reached 45 pesos. Others have already resorted to making lugaw just to make do with what they could afford. People are clamoring and the poor who composed 80% of our population are the ones most severely affected.
Added to this is the low supply of rice which some unscrupulous traders, out to make it big in the open, are creating by hoarding their stocks in their bodegas. And what does the government do? Nothing! Except to import smelly rice. It is inutile in handling this situation because it has a wrong perception of the reality. It still insists that everything is fine when the people are reeling in poverty. It is insensitive because it seldom considers the problem a problem needing solutions.
Now, adding to this insensitivity is the “inevitable” plan of the government, at the instigation of the oil companies, to raise the price of oil despite the fact that the price of crude oil went down in the world market and the peso against the dollar remained stabilized. We all know that when the price of gasoline is hiked all the prime commodities goes up with it. And more will suffer.
I am not so familiar with the laws of economics. All I know is that people suffer daily and the government is not doing anything substantial in alleviating it right now. God does not want us to suffer. We are the children He loves. He is our Father and He won’t give us a scorpion when we are crying for bread. Our situation now is brought about by evil in the hearts of our fellowmen who want to enrich themselves at the expense of the poor. But remember this, in the whole history of the Bible God has always sided with the poor. He will fight for them. As a God-fearing man, I too am invited to defend the poor. That is why tomorrow, Monday at two p.m. I will stand by them, with them and for them at the Rotary Amphitheater to protest this wickedness and insensitivity in hearts of men and in the august halls of government.
Here in Candle Light we are also afflicted by this dire need. At the moment we have already incurred a more than three thousand peso deficit. True, our second collections have improved from 3 thousand to an average of 5 thousand pesos weekly. But still it could not compensate for the paper and the printing. And time and again we turn to our donors to help defray the cost. Compounding this perennial shortage of funds is the fact that just recently the price of paper has gone up twice and the burden is getting unbearable. And so after consulting God in prayer we have decided to limit the pages to eight instead of the usual ten pages starting August. I could not perpetually hound you for more donations especially now that money is getting scarcer.
I believe that the direction that God is pointing for us right now is for us to live according to our means - the means that you our dear parishioners determine. Despite this fact, and the belt tightening that has been choking us for years, we pledge to do our best to continue in bringing to your homes and families the Word of God through Candle Light.