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Facing 2023 with hope

Today, the start of a new year, we are unified by hope and willing to work toward the same goal – a better economy and a better life for all.

Despite the significant increases in the prices of fuel, food, and services, 92 percent of Filipinos said they will face the new year with hope, according to a recent survey conducted by Pulse Asia.

What do ordinary people hope for in 2023? Jobs, education, shelter, food, the end to Covid, lower prices –are what many people are saying in casual conversations, media interviews, official statements, and even in prayer petitions.

Here are a few of the situations many hope for that were articulated by our columnists, editors, and readers:

“We look forward that more people will see climate change as a grave threat to our way of life, to life as we know it.” So much about climate change has been discussed in many international forums like the recent Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27), that took place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Many people have experienced climate change through stronger typhoons, higher floodwaters, thicker snowstorms, hotter summers, colder winters.

A former senator hopes “that Filipino children born in 2023 and beyond will grow up well nourished, especially during their first 1,000 days of life. Healthy children are the foundation of a strong nation.” Malnourishment and stunted growth are a problem among children and that has become more serious because many heads of families lost their jobs during the lockdowns at the height of the pandemic. The private sector, through non-government organizations (NGOs), has responded with more feeding and livelihood programs to help find a solution to hunger.

“For a more efficient agriculture sector that can allow farmers and fishers to earn enough to be considered at least middle class” is a hope that can bring a solution to three problems. One, it will add to the number of farmers whose numbers are decreasing because farmers tell their children to pursue other occupations to earn more and have better lives. Two, more farmers will mean more land tilled to produce food to give the proper nourishment to our children. And three, earning more will push the farmers out of poverty.

Another hope directed at solving poverty is for “greater financial inclusion, for microfinance and microinsurance to be made available to more poor and marginalized Filipinos.” Microfinancing has funded the growth of microentrepreneurs, many of them now having bigger businesses, better lives, and funding the education of their children.

As peace has become significant to more people because the effects of the Russia- Ukraine war has affected everyone’s lives through increased prices of fuel and food, a reader simply wrote his hope for 2023 as: “That the Ukraine-Russia war is resolved so the rest of the world can get back to normal life.”

Many readers said hope for the return of “normal” starting with the end to Covid: “That “2023 will be the year we could bounce back from the pandemic.” We ended the year with the easing of restrictions, the opening of businesses, the optional use of masks in open spaces, the start of face-to-face classes and church services as Covid infections continues to go down around the Philippines.

With a strong leadership from government and support from the people, we are optimistic that we can make many of what we hope for a reality.

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Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph

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