Jobless in their midst

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    ‘Malacanang should make it mandatory for local officials, led by the provincial governor, to create job opportunities for their jobless constituents under pain of suspension or dismissal.’

    THE government’s Balik Probinsya program should be supplanted by job employment for the 3.6 million displaced workers nationwide. Malacanang should make it mandatory for local officials, led by the provincial governor, to create job opportunities for their jobless constituents under pain of suspension or dismissal.

    President Duterte can do anything he wants with the DILG with the same flourish as with the cowed House of Representatives for as long as his marching orders are littered with incentives. The essential idea behind the Balik Probinsya was to revitalize the local economies and expedite urban decongestion with employment as a key factor.

    It does seem academic that local officials should feel genuinely responsible for the jobless in their midst by finding or creating work for them. And people are not leaving Metro Manila if there are no good jobs waiting for them at their home towns or provinces.

    ***

    Future media professionals and lawyers will go into the field with a strong bias against our criminal justice system. I currently lecture on Communication Media Laws and Ethics at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) and in their assignments to analyze the ills of the justice system they presented several cases in which the flaws were irreversible because connivance among law enforcers, fiscals and judges seem so common.

    The sensational Kian Delos Santos execution by Caloocan cops has closed with three accused in the murder of the teen exonerated. The second headliner case of another youth salvaged by Malabon cops after he allegedly held up a taxi driver was dismissed after the lone witness was found dead in Cavite.

    Most of us recall there were ample testimonies that the victims could have been taken alive but had been disregarded in favor of the fabricated statements of the police. Another case was the prolonged detention of a suspect in a city jail longer than the legally-provided sentence for the crime committed. It became evident to my students that reformation can only come from the officials running the system, who have insufferably and sufficiently demeaned the way it works.

    To me and other professors, we seem to be up against a blank wall in recreating a model for honesty, value for human life and earnest respect for the law.

    ***

    Evangelist Todd White, founder of Lifestyle Christianity, urges Christian viewers to be at the “frontlines” during this time of fear anxiety and uncertainty. He stresses that fear of death should not be an option to those who fully know and love Jesus Christ. White has stared death in the eye; he was shot four times almost pointblank in a drug deal gone awry but not one of the bullets hit his body. The incident was well-documented in several newspapers in the US and in some Christian books.

    Today, White doesn’t much care about what happens to him, fully embracing the Biblical passage “Anyone who keeps his life will lose it, but he who loses his life for my sake will keep it.”

    Pastor John Harper was a passenger at the ill-fated Titanic. After bringing his six-year-old daughter and sister to a lifeboat he began preaching to the rest. As the ship sank, Harper, already in the water, was still preaching. Knowing he would not last in the icy waters Harper gave his life-jacket to the last person he brought to Christ, telling him “you need this more than I do.” That person would become a pastor in America.