COVID-19 Op-ed

Dangers of Resiliency: The Exploitation of Volunteerism under the Guise of Civic Engagement

Written by admin

Angelyn TurianoMember, Youth
Advocates for the Philippines Region V
Member, Anakbayan
Naga City

After the super typhoon Rolly wreaked havoc in the Bicol
Region, various groups from different provinces stepped into the picture to
offer assistance that would aid severely affected individuals. While the
government is playing blind-deaf to the battle cry of their people, donation
drives from private sectors sounded the alarm on social media together with
various organizations asking for monetary and in-kind donations. It was
indeed a struggle to exhaust resources, enable transportation, and establish
proper communication while cities and municipalities are barred down—all in
the middle of a pandemic.The courage in each one of us may be in deep
slumber, but with constant affirmations from people that deepens our in-depth
analysis and awareness which awakens various potentials, it can affect change
in the long run if we choose to actualize our advocacy and serve its purpose
aligned with the current national setting—advocacy
that
would not enact ways
to feed the need for resiliency
, but rather,
advocacy that grounds to strong principles of our nationalistic and
democratic aspirations—something that would serve the interest of the masses
up to the grass root levels of our society. To be able to advocate for a
mass-oriented development mechanism means to further the call to demand
accountability, transparency, and efficient public service amidst being a
catalyst carrying out Band-Aid solutions to a system growing backward.This
does not invalidate the efforts of those that embody the spirit of
volunteerism in serving the people because it is clear that only through
civic participation we can get a glimpse of the demands and interest of the
community. This also does not demonize the acts of kindness by respected
volunteers that aided the socio-economic crisis that endangered many lives
for the past few weeks. We are always reminded with such upbringing that it
is significant to back up our words with meaningful actions that we can
consistently do one step at a time, strong enough to prove and justify the
claims that Filipinos will always volunteer for the frontline when a
situation asks for it, even if it means facing potential risks.But even if
spontaneous solidarity rekindles in the heart of strong-willed individuals,
poverty in all aspects would still resurface in the community in one way or
another if people will continue to live under the roof of a faulty and poorly
planned system. It is also important to realize that all though people will
always be willing to exceed their helping boundaries, it should not be a free
pass for the government to allow Band-Aid solutions as people should not
carry the burden of bad governance in the first place. There is no harm to
aim for positive transformation in communities but volunteers should also be
under the obligation to demand transparency and accountability from those who
are in direct authority to act on specific community defects. The mishandling
of the pandemic as well as the unprecedented events of three consecutive
typhoons just exposed how important it is for the government to innovate,
realign, and amend its framework to come up with radical solutions. While
ordinary people are almost emptying their pockets to suffice the need for
relief goods, government officials should not allow volunteerism to be
exploited in any way. This boils down to the idea that to champion the goal
of a society, the locality should not just resort to Band-Aid solutions but
rather, find the cure to what is being aided.

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