Rough Cuts | An unlikely source of kindness

Last Monday we were personal witness to an unusual display of generosity. We say unusual because the generosity came from someone who is an unlikely source of such compassion.

This is how it happened:
We reported to the editorial office of this newspaper to submit our columns for last Tuesday’s and yesterday’s issues. We parked our vehicle along C. Bangoy St., specifically on the side of the UM Multi-test Center . Since it was still early in the afternoon the sun was scorching hot and we assumed that the cars parked on that exposed area would, in some way, be “toasted.”

After about two hours we got out of the office and went back to where we parked our car to proceed with our other activities for the day. To our surprise we found the windshield of our vehicle covered with a thick card board, effectively blocking the rays of the sun from hitting directly its windshield and making the inside of the vehicle like an oven heated to 100 degrees Celsius.

We could only think of the man who we have seen helping car drivers park their vehicles where space is available in that stretch and watching them for some very minimal, even measly amount of loose change.

We beckoned the man who was sheltering himself from the heat of the sun behind an electric pole. After taking the card board from the windshield of our vehicle we gave him P20 as our appreciation for what he did.

While we were about to maneuver our car to get out of its parked position we saw the “watch-your-car” guy talked to a small boy who was apparently sweating after a long walk. Then we saw the man gave the small boy some coins possibly ten pesos of the P20 that we handed him earlier.

Intrigued by what he did we motioned the man to come to us and asked him whether the kid was his child or close relative. His answer was a very empathic “No, Sir.” According to him he just pitied the child who walks to and from his school at Kapitan Tomas Monteverde Central Elementary School. He failed to mention to us where the boy’s residence is.

When we asked him how often he gives the boy money, the “watch-your-car” man told us he does it as often as he sees the boy passing by. He also told us the small amount that the boy receives from him could possibly help pay for his school projects or snacks.

Other than giving the boy part of his very little income this “watch-your-car” guy also adopted a dog that he shelters with components of empty boxes that he constructs at the foot of the electric pole that shades himself.

We could hardly believe having personally witnessed this kind of unusual compassion and generosity emanating from someone who has almost nothing to give for himself but making part of the little that he gets available for others. It is one exceptional act of kindness and goodness from a person who has almost nothing for his own but still think of the greater need of others who he thinks might even be less fortunate than he is. This man can hardly be found in society these days. Our only regret is that we failed to ask for his name even as we wrote this article on him. But we’ll ask for his name the next time we see him on his post.

Yes, we take our hat off for the guy.
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How come only 262 out of 3,800 applicants for Student Financial Assistance Program for school year 2018 were granted approval by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED)?

Is it because of the rigidness of the criteria and other requirements? Has the average grade to do with the approval or disapproval of the student’s application? What about the economic status of the family of the applicant, is it a major consideration? Or, is it the available budget for the financial assistance program?

Somehow, we cannot help but suspect the selection process of grantees could be influenced by political patronage. This is the very condition in the hiring of public school teachers to fill in vacant and new teaching plantilla in the Department of Education (DepEd).

We know of several cases where the applicant has a high grade in the DepEd’s ranking system for teacher applicants in public schools. Aside from this, the vacancies are available in the school applied as attested to by the principal.

However, after submitting all the prescribed requirements by the DepEd, one very critical document is being asked to be submitted. This is the endorsement from the Congressional Office in the district where the school that the new teacher is applying for is located.

Somehow, we see this pattern in the treatment of application for student financial assistance. According to the CHED it has forwarded the names of the 262 approved applicants to the Davao Region’s congressional offices. And the same agency further said it is also forwarding the list of students whose applications were not considered.

Well, only the dumb among us cannot understand the primary objective of the CHED’s submission of the names of both approved and rejected applicants to the offices of the congressmen representing their respective districts.

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Posted in Opinion