Monday, February 10, 2014

Sitting on the Pacific Ring of Fire, and its entire eastern coastline facing the vast Pacific Ocean, the Philippines has seen the worst calamities in recorded human history. However, we are a resilient race, never bowing down to nature's fury. We come together and rebuild, hoping for the best to come out of each and every disaster.

This year, Globe has initiated a program called #GLOBEProjectWonderful2014. This telecommunications giant has joined hands with the government, non profit humanitarian groups and volunteers to help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, a Category 5 Super Typhoon that left the Visayas in a pile of rubble. 


In their efforts to create a better world for our less fortunate brothers, Globe has given me the chance to send them ideas on how they can extend more help. They'd choose the best idea and turn it into a reality. The task is simple. All I have to do is to answer one question... 

"If there is one thing you can give to the Philippines, what is that gift?"

I was in deep thought for several days. I listed things like stop the wars, better people in government, better textbooks for public schools, etc. etc. I asked the same question to family and friends. I got responses like money, money and more money. Oh my, are we that desperate for money? We can only be good until we have spent the last centavo. So I scratched out money from the list. 

Sometimes, ideas come to you in the most unusual time and place. Mine did. I was in the toilet doing my morning duties when it dawned upon me. 

I would want to give latrines/toilets and access to clean drinking water for the entire Philippines! I want them constructed in the far flung baranggays and tribal lands, in the poorest neighborhoods and rural areas, along provincial highways, and in evacuation sites.  

In the Philippines, an estimated 26% of Filipinos do not have improved sanitation, translating to more than 24 million people (UNICEF WHO Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation 2012 Update).  Almost 8 million Filipinos are openly defecating, which is the third highest total in the Asia Pacific Region. 
“Under the leadership of the Department of Health, the Philippines has made significant advances in sanitation over the last 20 years, however we are in jeopardy of not reaching the 2015 Millennium Development Goal on Sanitation because the poorest 20% of the population is sliding,” says Tim Grieve, Chief of Water, Sanitation & Hygiene in UNICEF Philippines.

Over the last 20 years, the poorest 20% of the rural population went from 36% open defecation to a staggering 48% open defecation.  Poor sanitation and poverty go hand in hand, and the rural poor are four times more likely to practice open defecation than in urban areas.   Sanitation coverage in poor provinces such as Masbate and Maguindanao is as low as 38% and 30% respectively (FIES 2009).

It is alarming to know that despite the economic growth, millions upon millions are still living in dire conditions. No toilets, no clean drinking water.

Children in the poor rural areas are tasked with fetching water from a well or an open pit to use for household purposes - cooking, cleaning, bathing, washing clothes, and yes, drinking. In worse case scenarios when the well dries up, these people get along with water from a pond or stream. 

Without proper sanitation and clean drinking water, we are putting our brothers' lives at risk. Water borne diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, intestinal parasites and other infections abound and directly affect children under the age of five. 

Latrines/toilets constructed in these areas must be accessible, safe from flood and sturdy enough to withstand an earthquake. The same should be with the water supply. A perfectly engineered reservoir to store water  would be best to ensure every household would still get clean drinking water if a calamity would strike. Maintaining these facilities should be addressed by the local government and by the collective effort of the beneficiaries. One successful project by UNICEF similar to this has been put in place and it is my wish to have more of them. Adult education and aggressive campaign to push the importance of sanitation and frequent hand washing should go hand in hand with the construction of these facilities.

I wish to see this dream fulfilled. I have no financial capacity to do this on my own. However, with Globe's Project Wonderful 2014, I am confident that the people behind this campaign would hear my plea. Should my idea be chosen among the millions of entries, Globe would make this dream into a reality. 

Let's do it for the sake of the future of this nation - our children.

If you were to be asked the same question, What gift would you give to the Philippines? (If my "gift" gets chosen, Globe will also choose the most creative reader comment on this post and award them with an iPad mini.) 

Share your thoughts. Support #GlobeProjectWonderful 2014 and let's all work towards achieving a better Philippines. 

21 comments:

  1. the yolanda victims will still need help for a much longer time having their place fully devastated, it is good to know that Globe is doing such wonderful project

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  2. I wanted to join that contest too but got too lazy to write.... I want what you wished for too!: ) When is the deadline? Can I still join? I always admire you for being a "superwomom"sisterrette!♥

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    1. They extended the deadline to Feb. 15th. You can still catch up. They need your brilliant ideas too, sisterette. Go go go!!!

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  3. What a great idea for campaign Globe has created, through this it would help many esp the children to think that life is full of Hope.

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  4. first, I love your blog title..second, gosh I totally forgot there's this contest, I was reading through sometime ago and thought would love to join, now I'm so late I guess.

    that would be so noble...good luck sis, wish you'll make it!

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  5. thinking that so many people in our country still have no access to clean drinking water and hygienic structures is sad, yo are so right, oftentimes, people focus on "money, money, money", yet if these money is not put to good use, they will simply be wasted away. like you, I would love to see everyone in our country have access to clean drinking water and clean toiletries, have access to healthcare, and education. I believe in empowering the poor, teach them livelihood so they could be self supporting and send also their kids to school. I strongly believe in "give man a fish, you feed him for a day, teach man a fish, you feed him for lifetime." Personally, the foundations (non-profit) I support are those who trains people in far out baranggays, rural areas and inner city dwellers livelihood, and those who sends children to school, if I have so much to give to our country right now, then, it would probably the same as well, livelihood for the poor and education for all children, so that, everyone has a chance to have better life, and yes, a better, cleaner,and healthier life.

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  6. Just like you, I would wish that there is access to clean and safe drinking water for everyone, even in the far flung barangays. I have lived with some of the poorest in our town (including me, hehehe), and I even experienced not getting safe and clean drinking water. I've seen little children die because of accidents, that because they have to fetch water from the stream and unfortunately, met their untimely demise... it is such a pity... and that is my wish! I hope Globe will help in achieving these and the many other wishes...

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  7. Me and my friend were chatting yesterday because she is raising fund to help the people from her town and I told that is a noble thing she is doing. I always wish to help my people back home but just don't have the resources to do it.

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  8. Awesome project! They get to hear the voice of the people, what our brothers and sisters really need at the moment.

    For me, some food and clothes will be great while for the children, school supplies and new shoes/slippers

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  9. You've got a great idea. Indeed, no one should be deprived of something as basic as clean drinking water and decent toilet. Kudos to Globe for coming up with such initiative.

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  10. sounds like a good cause that will benefit a lot of people.

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  11. money is useless if it is not used properly. i don't think our beloved Philippines is poor. we are actually very rich in resources, we only lack good governance.

    what gift would i give to our country? food, education and housing for the poor.

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  12. This is really a very meaningful project. Its very sad to think that still many of our kababayans in the country side "mga liblib na lugar "they have no access with clean water. Does our goverment really care?
    I doubt it. !!! I know a lot of NGO's that they are helping our country about this project. I know they still pass with all the scrutiny from the goverment .

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  13. This is a wonderful cause and program to help people especially who needed it the most :-)

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  14. This dream of yours needs to be realized! I hope you win! There are millions of people in our country that truly need the kind of access to the basic necessity that you just described.

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  15. Just like what I wrote in one of the sites, I think Filipino people needs livelihood projects. Something which could arouse their interest and use it to uplift their quality of life.

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  16. I agree, It is alarming to know that despite the economic growth, millions upon millions are still living in dire conditions. This campaign that Globe has created is amazing.

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  17. Good luck. Your idea is worthy of being completed. So sad that in this generation, such basic needs can't be completed.

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  18. Super project and blessing. I have work with worked with helping to buy goats in small villages, very rewarding work.

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  19. This is such a great cause! I'm glad to see it

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  20. So kind of Globe to have this kind of cause! Kudos! :)

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Feel free to share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you too.