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A street vendor tries to dispose his pomelo fruits near Cogon market. (GSD File PHOTO BY SHIELA MAE BUTLIG)

Are our vegetables and fruits safe?

Batas Mauricio .

I HAVE some lingering questions pertaining to things that I see happening in my day-to-day life which I hope can be answered satisfactorily. The first of these questions relate to those who sell supposedly fresh vegetables and fruits, and other food items that are sold in markets, flea markets, or even on roadsides. Is there anyone from government who ensure that these vegetables and fruits and other food items are safe to eat?

Even now, reports that fruits and vegetables that are sold to the public in many parts of the country are actually soaked or are sprinkled with water laced with the chemical used in embalming dead people, to maintain their look of freshness and prevent their immediate withering. Is there anyone making sure that these vegetables, fruits, and other food items are clean and not prejudicial to the public’s health?

I raise the same concern about cooked food sold in canteens or in karinderya or are sold from one place to another using makeshift carts, or are supplied to employees in public or private offices. Are the buyers of these cooked food sure that they are safe to eat? I have the same question to famous fast food chains: do the food they sell pass through real quality control? Those who prepare or cook them, are they free from any infection or illness that could be passed on to their customers?

On the other hand, the second question I wanted answered pertains to travel by boats which carry hundreds of passengers. This question surfaced in my mind anew after a boat rammed its sides on a concrete pavement at the Tacloban City port on Thursday. I know that accidents of this nature do happen, because I personally experienced one such accident some years back.

Is anyone making sure that these boats ferrying are “seaworthy” especially during rough weather? Is there anyone competent enough looking into the engines of these boats, or even into the parts of the engines, to make sure that each and every part thereof are working the way they should? Is it not a fact that the boat was allowed to travel even if its “port main engine gear transmission” had a defect that is now being blamed as the cause of the accident that befell it?

I am raising the same question about public vehicles plying land routes, especially those which negotiate long distances. Is there anyone looking into those vehicles to make sure that all its parts are in order, and are working perfectly, to assure a safe land trip? Is there anyone looking into the mental and physical fitness of the drivers of those vehicles? Is there any agency of government doing this?

Twice or thrice, my car crashed on the parts of a highway. The crash happened at the areas which were inexplicably left as open drains.

Who has the obligation to make sure that the open drains between the highway and the bridges should have been filled up, at least with soil, or with gravel and sand, to allow the smooth travel of vehicles from the highway to the bridges themselves? Is it the local government or the Department of Public Works and Highways?

***

You know, or are at least acquainted with, the American lady billionaire Kate Spade, right? She was the woman who started producing bags and other expensive personal items and products that carried her own name and which sold like hotcakes worldwide, although she later sold the company she and her family put up to run this billion-dollar enterprise.

She committed suicide on June 5, 2018, right inside her mansion in New York City. She left a suicide note addressed to her young daughter, bidding her goodbye and assuring her that she, the young girl, did not have anything to do with Kate’s taking her own life.

As of the present, her family is disclosing that, for unknown reasons, Kate Spade contracted a mental disease. She suffered because of this mental ailment for about 10 years after she sold her company for almost US$4 billion. The question is: how is it possible that a very rich woman like Kate can be so gravely afflicted with mental illness which, in the long run, even compelled her to end her own life?

After Kate Spade’s suicide broke out in the news, media entities around the world started reporting that a truly great number of people worldwide, millions and millions of Filipinos included, are suffering from one kind of mental disease or another. To those who found the courage to admit they are afflicted with mental illnesses, they have been given the opportunity to undergo treatment or medical management by expert doctors.

To those who are refusing to acknowledge they are suffering from one mental disorder or so–largely on account of avoiding being the object of ridicule by their own relatives or peers–they are deprived of medical attention and medication. That is why they are not given appropriate medicine or taught effective technics to combat the disease.

What is the apparent cause of man’s mental illness? There could be plenty of causes. Imbibing too much alcohol or indulging in illegal drugs are the most recognized causes of mental illnesses nowadays, but inheriting the disease from one’s forebears is also a big factor to consider. Then, one other important consideration here is this: mental aberrations are in fact one of God’s curses.

 

E-mail: batasmauricio@yahoo.com

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TREND MAKER. Mindanao Gold Star Daily was established in 1989 to set ablaze a new meaning & flame to the local newspaper business. Throughout the years it continued its focus and interest in the rural areas & pioneered the growth of countryside journalism.

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