Saturday, May 25, 2024

Delivering Stories of Progress


FIRING LINE: A government in denial

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By Robert B. Roque, Jr.

It seems all of us can’t get enough of Hidilyn Diaz these days – and for good reason. Having ended the country’s 97-year gold drought in the Olympics and in record-breaking fashion, she deserves all the love and adoration.

Her Calvary-like climb to the top also draws needed attention to the sorry state of our government’s sports development program that, perhaps, pounds our promising athletes more to the ground than propels them to victory.

Now, of course, Hidilyn is past all the stumbling blocks and nasty challenges – horrors which President Duterte told her she should forget, saying “bygones should be bygones.” Yes, the government is giving her at least P10 million, along with a host of other pledges and tax exemptions for other gifts from the private sector.

But giving them now to our Olympic champ, who has proven to be the strongest lady weightlifter in the world, should not bury government’s misgivings, for it only keeps our leaders in denial.

Painfully, this places the mirror of truth before all of us, reflecting an image of Filipinos who love and admire winners but lack the empathy and support for athletes still struggling to make our nation’s Olympic dreams a reality.

Those who compete and lose today may have a greater chance at gold tomorrow if our government and we don’t abandon them just because they’re not in the spotlight. Let’s hope we’re not all in denial.

*         *         *

Being in denial prevails not only in sports but also in admitting that the Delta variant of COVID-19 has long developed into a community transmission in Metro Manila.

Despite the sharp daily increase in cases, the projections, and the assumption of experts from OCTA Research group, the Department of Health (DOH) chooses to delay the call even if it knows its latest tally of new Delta variant cases is based on specimens submitted three weeks prior.

The later it is called serves no benefit to the public and only delays the appropriate response required from local government units (LGUs) and healthcare facilities concerned. So why be tentative when the situation calls for us to act fast against a fast-spreading contagion?

*         *         *

SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email or tweet @Side_View. Read current and past issues of this column at

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