June 21, 2024

Reports about individuals waiving their slots in the Social Amelioration Program of the government for others who are in need more have once again highlighted the Cordillerans’ selfless and compassionate nature.
Since the SAP was rolled out as a means to alleviate the financial needs of families adversely affected by the lockdowns due to the coronavirus disease-2019 (Covid-19), there have been stories of individuals waiving their (SAP) slots, knowing there are others who need the assistance more than they do.
Other poor but kindred souls have returned the money they received upon knowing that members of their family were already provided with the same financial assistance.
The most recent of these stories is the news about the 35 heads of families in the village of Gambang in Bakun, Benguet, who waived their SAP slots for those who need the financial assistance more than them.
These individuals were initially targeted as SAP beneficiaries, but they declined to be included in the list upon learning, and probably comprehending, the guidelines set by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
This has once again validated that no major crisis, such as the Covid-19 pandemic that has brought all nations of the world to their knees, can overcome the Cordillerans’ compassion for others as manifested by the 35 Bakun residents, who, despite their modest economic status, chose to give way for more needy families.
This heartwarming story of individuals, mostly farmers relying on the fruits of their months of toiling the soil for survival, is a welcome respite from the uncertainties we see in urban areas where discontentment and greed abound.
It is also a reminder that one does not need to be materially wealthy in order to help. Most often, it is the simple but genuine actions that creates the most impact.
The Bakun residents’ decision to forego their slots in the SAP has also helped facilitate the job of the government personnel who no longer have to conduct validation among them and instead focus their time, effort, and resources on other families who are more in need.
Such act also validates the Cordillerans deep respect to the cultural value of “inayan,” considered by the Igorot Christians synonymous to the Golden Rule, which tells people to “Do unto others what you like others do unto you.”
The high regard for inayan greatly contributed in keeping the Cordillerans’ compassion for others during disasters.
In this time of crisis, noble acts like what these kindhearted Bakun residents and others did go a long way in helping the government reach out to as many families as possible to make social services more inclusive.
During these times, we also need more people who, instead of waiting for their government to help them, are doing their share to help the government.
It is our hope that as we confront the unseen enemy that is the Covid-19, every Filipino realizes that he holds the most practical antidote to the disease, which is to abide by the protocols set by health authorities and other concerned agencies.
We hope too that people who consider the welfare of others as much as themselves become the rule, rather than the exception, as we reel from the impacts of Covid-19 pandemic.