January 29, 2023

A NATION FULL OF OPTIMISM AFTER A CHALLENGING YEAR

Having greatly suffered for most of 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and natural calamities, Filipinos join people around the world in closing the year with much optimism that they will get back on their feet as life transitions to the new normal.
Despite the great challenges we faced due to the pandemic, it is but fitting we express our sincerest thanks and appreciation to the men and women, who have made a difference in our lives in 2020.
Foremost, we are ever grateful to all the sacrifices of our indefatigable healthcare frontliners for taking care of those who have caught the virus, a gesture of service beyond the call of duty. There may have been times that they wanted to give up due to the surging cases but they stood their ground and chose just the same to attend to all the patients despite serious threats of acquiring the virus themselves and infecting their families.
We are likewise grateful to the countless groups and individuals who complemented the government’s response to the pandemic through their volunteerism and for sharing their resources especially in areas not easily reached by government services and areas with surging cases.
We are also grateful to the country’s uniformed personnel for working round the clock to ensure everyone’s compliance with the minimum health protocols even as many of them died of the infection while in the performance of their duties.
The compelling stories of all those who came forward to join the global fight against the pandemic are chronicled in this humble yearend reports of the Courier editorial staff members as the paper’s way of recognizing their sacrifices.
As we end this year that is full of challenges, Filipinos have high hopes the Duterte government will find ways to secure affordable anti-Covid-19 vaccines with proven efficacy that are affordable especially to low-income families, and more importantly, those belonging in the high-risk sectors.
Every Filipino will be on the watch to ensure that every government official will be held accountable for their actions should the purchase of the vaccines be tainted with corruption.
With millions of Filipinos losing their jobs aggravated by the closure of businesses, it is incumbent upon the national government to create job opportunities for displaced workers while helping struggling businesses to recover to keep our economy afloat while we transition to the new normal of doing business.
While the virus continues to be a threat to public health especially in developing countries such as the Philippines, it is our hope that our local government units from the provincial to municipal levels would have already realized the urgent need to invest in healthcare systems that will benefit the citizenry beyond Covid-19. Investing in healthcare system includes the setting up of a molecular laboratory in all provincial hospitals in the Cordillera and identification of more quarantine and treatment facilities.
This is in consideration that Covid-19 will be here to stay for a longer period of time and that the emergence of new potent viruses is not a remote possibility.
The year 2020 saw again the change in local leadership that hopefully would pave the way for a better leadership that would uplift the lives of an already suffering citizenry.
We also say, enough of political promises and sweeping statements, as the citizenry is already frustrated with polarized politics that undermines the efforts to reach out to those in need in times of disasters especially now while we remain vulnerable to the dangers of this pandemic.
But then again, the enormous challenges we faced this year must not dampen our spirits in facing the new normal. As we have said in the past, let us keep joy in our hearts and in our midst and let this spirit of cheer overflow to the depressed and devastated areas.
Let hope be the spirit with which we let this challenging year pass and as we welcome the year to come.

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