WE WERE happy to witness Dimirie Foundation, Inc., the social development arm of the company that manufactures a famous fruit-based food supplement, through its personnel distributed food packs to senior citizens in Barangay Talandang, Tugbok district, Davao City.
Its act of charity was conducted in coordination with the City Social Services and Development Office (CSSDO) and in cooperation with the barangay council of the area.
What made its gift-giving at this time of the pandemic different from that of all other do-gooders is that the Foundation anchored it on biblical dictum for which the company is famous of doing.
That is, “To God be the Glory.” Before the distribution of the assistance to qualified senior citizens, there was some kind of bible sharing as well as introduction of the company and explaining why it is into corporate social responsibility especially in this time of the CoViD 19 pandemic.
We were not there personally. But we can read all that were written on tarpaulins giving details of the activity. We also heard everything the speakers talked about as the covered court where the assistance-giving was conducted is just right beside our house.
Seeing all the things the Foundation officials were doing, we could not help but reminisce our own experiences while we too was head of the social development unit of an Aboitiz company in Davao City and in several occasions was out there in areas that many did not dare to visit because of the risks then lurking.
One example is when the country, including Davao City, was hit by a 9-month El Nino in 1994. It was one drought that led people in the uplands to come down to the city proper to beg for food. Those who remained there butchered every living animal, domesticated or roaming in the scorched mountains, just to fill their stomach.
Because of that situation our company had to reach far and wide in the whole of its franchise area to give assistance to the already emasculated people. We reached to as far as Tapak in Paquibato district where we distributed truckloads of rice, noodles, dried fish, sardines and other canned goods.
We were unmindful of the fact that the farthest barangay in the city was then heavily infested with New People’s Army rebels. But still, the situation that time was much better than the current pandemic. At least during that time, economic activities were not suspended and there was no restriction in people movement.
Today we are in a totally different and even more difficult time.
Most economic endeavors are forcibly stopped or strongly restricted. People have to stay home to avoid being infected by the deadly virus. Many residents of the city have lost their livelihood. People are also prevented from finding new ones because the virus can be everywhere and can infect any time.
While the government has committed to help the people, help comes scarcely and is so miniscule compared to the actual needs of families. And add to it the corruption in the process including skimming the quantity when it reached the hands of those tasked to distribute, it becomes disaster added to the pandemic.
It’s a good thing that there are companies like the manufacturer of that famous food supplement which decided to set aside a portion of its income for social responsibility and giving it back to the long suffering people especially the elderly ages ranging from 65 and above. Companies like these are among the very few where a lot owe so much.
We are similarly happy with the start of the rollout of the massive vaccination program to medical frontliners based in a private hospitals, infirmaries, clinics, and even dialysis centers in Davao City.
According to news reports aired on television, last Monday Davao City’s vaccination Task Force has already started inoculations of health workers who are with private medical institutions.
In fact the first to be vaccinated at the Mabini Elementary vaccination center was a department head nurse at the Davao Doctors Hospital who exclaimed pride of being part of history in the efforts to quash the medical emergency now raging globally.
On the other hand, the roll-out in public hospitals all over Mindanao has also started this week. The vaccination is now rolling out in such places as Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga City, Saranggani Province, General Santos City, Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur and Marawi City, Lanao del Norte and Iligan City, Surigao del Norte and Surigao City, North Cotabato and the Agusan Provinces.
This would only show that contrary to what has been brandished by the administration critics, the government is doing its job despite all the bars put up in order to derail or part of the efforts. Any failure on the part of the government will surely serve the critics’ own selfish purpose.
But of course, what we and many others are eagerly awaiting is when the vaccination will finally be rolled out to the public recipients based on the vaccinees’ priority category. When that time comes, there will surely be a loud sigh of relief nationwide. But when we still have to wait.
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