What you may have missed

By Joshua Corcuera

Recently, a certain celebrity trended across social media sites for doing something which seems disrespectful. This actress celebrated her birthday and smeared some cake icing on the forehead of a waiter, causing netizens to be furious.

Obviously, I cannot blame netizens for getting angry at the actress. Candidly speaking, I felt furious as well of the behavior displayed by this certain celebrity. We should remember that workers in the hotel, restaurant, and food industries in general, struggle with difficult work duties, from cleaning tables to serving customers, and so forth.

Simply stated, it is a difficult and challenging job, yet the rewards of their efforts seem to be meager. Henceforth, it is very important to treat them with respect just as much as we respect other people whoever they are. We must be mindful of respecting others whoever they are or whatever their social status is because, at the end of the day, they are still human beings.

As of writing, the celebrity already apologized to the waiter. Hopefully, the apology is sincere and, more importantly, let us hope that she, and all of us, have learned a lesson from this incident. News reports indicate that the waiter has accepted the apology.

However, as we diverted and focused too much of our attention to this issue concerning two private individuals, we may have missed some important issues that should concern the general public. Have you been informed, dear reader, that news outlets reported last January 12 that a complaint involving grave misconduct and malversation of public funds has been filed against officials of the Department of Health (DOH).

As the report goes, the complainant alleged mismanagement of the budget for the Cancer and Supportive-Palliative Medicines Access Program (CSPMAP) worth PhP786 million, as well as the Cancer Assistance Fund (CAF) budget worth PhP529 million. The complainant alleges that CSPMAP funds have been allotted only to 19 out of 31 hospitals or access sites.

The DOH, as cited by several media outlets, is yet to receive official copies of the complaint, and said that it is “confident that our integrities remain intact.” Though it is premature to judge whether the agency is guilty or otherwise, it is imperative for people to be aware of these current events. After all, if it were true that a huge amount that is supposed to be for the benefit of patients was handled irresponsibly, it would be us, the general public, that would bear its impacts and would suffer.

Altogether, we can realize that we should not be attracted merely to a single issue. Sometimes, there are some other social issues that are also worthy of attention, but do not receive the attention it needs due to a much more trending topic at the same time. Fortunately, we are living in an information era where digital technology enables us to disseminate news in real time. Of course, this is not without risks, specifically the risk of disinformation, which we should all be careful of as well.