Wanted: Honest- to- Goodness Community Service
Of Civic Organizations and Students
By Apolinario Villalobos
With the onset of the school summer break in the Philippines and the official declaration by the weather bureau, PAGASA, of the start of summer season, expected are the “visits” of student groups and civic organizations to the shores of Manila Bay and the city esteros, to purportedly undertake “clean up drive”. While the civic organizations do it for the promotion of their groups to let the people know that they are active in community projects, the students do it to earn scholastic credits and enthusiastically, too, for photo opportunities – something for uploading on facebook. Aside from the facebook, expect community and academe sections of the broadsheets to splash “action” photos, in their weekend edition.
How can these supposedly concerned Filipinos be expected to do an “honest-to-goodness” community service with their tight-fitting denim pants, white shirts, and jogging shoes? They look more like going on a picnic in their attire. Their sight reminded me of a lady senator whose supposedly advocacy is about ecology, nature, trees, and who was shown in a photo, gingerly holding on to a shovel while in the act of planting a sapling… prettily attired in white long sleeves blouse, slacks, a pair of walking shoes, earrings, necklace, and bangles!
As regards the students who brave the sun with sunblock, why can’t the schools base the merit system on the number of bags of garbage collected at the end of the day? At least, the credit is fairly measured, rather than use a notebook to record their attendance. And, for the adult civic organizations, why can’t they just collect contributions from the members to come up with a substantial amount that can be paid to a couple or more “real” garbage collectors? In this way, aside from getting a real result, they have also helped the needy, unless, of course their real aim is just to pose while holding on to a broom, to perpetuate their “contribution” to the community – something that can be shown proudly to their grandchildren later on, and of course, for uploading also on facebook!
Not only is the country suffering from the never-ending corruption and dishonesty of lawmakers and officials, but also from hypocrisy of its young citizens whose training in school is questionable, as well as, the adults who boastfully show the youth, their own kind of hypocrisy. We should no longer wonder why the country never ever had a chance to recover from the infection of dishonesty that continually deteriorates its culture. So with the exit of the senior corrupts later, the questionably trained youth enters the scene….a never ending cycle. From here… where are you going, poor and helpless Mother Philippines?