Religious fasting and back to school PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 27 May 2016 14:12

Table Talk

BY Mike S Apostol

Two big unstoppable events will happen in June 2016.  An event that will be the concern of almost everybody. To our brothers and sisters in the Islam faith, their religious fasting of almost a month will start this month of June. To all families whose children are students, classes will also start on the month of June which is an expensive month for everybody, rich and poor alike. Families with children studying in exclusive private schools will spend more for school needs. But, today even those families in government schools will also have to spend for many reasons. One of them is the perennial problem of matriculation fees which is supposed to be free and government subsidized but haphazardly implemented by some unscrupulous school officials, especially in remote barangay government schools far from the prying eyes of the Department of Education (DepEd) officials.

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President-elect Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte recently edicted that students of government schools are exempted from wearing school uniforms. The idea is good as far as expenses for parents are concerned, but it will endanger the security of schools and its populace. The possibility of infiltration by out-of-school bullies and other harmful elements is great. Without a uniform, school guards and authorities will not be able to effectively distinguish between real students and infiltrators. Identification cards can be manufactured with modern technology in modern print shops and computer services that are now doing business in almost all vicinityies of schools. Unless new measures are adopted, the dangers to public school students is always there.

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Religious fasting will also affect the budgets of all Christian and Muslim families. Price of fish sold in our wet markets will rise abruptly sometimes by a hundred percent. Many Muslim fishermen will stop fishing until the fasting season is over and same with Christian fish vendors, who will take the opportunity to raise their selling prices because of the scarcity of fish supply. The end users, Christians and Muslim families will bear the burden of rising fish prices, this fasting season.

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The problem observed by many families during fasting season and school opening, is the businessmen always take the opportunity to make more profit. Everything, from prime commodities to school supplies will be increased. It is not because of the effect of “supply and demand” but, only because of seasonal profiteering advantage. School supplies, most of them old stock bought at the old price, are sold at exorbitant prices, doubling their profits during the enrollment season. On the other hand, fresh fish during the fasting season are also sold at exorbitant price by fish businessmen with fishing boats even if their expenses incurred during fishing remain the same as when the fasting season was not around.This is purely, business opportunism by unscrupulous businessmen. Local government authorities must come in to rescue families in the city overburdened by rising prices of prime commodities and school supplies. Arrest and apprehend “black marketeers” and “economic saboteurs” during fasting season and school openings.

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Scoop: Broiled or roasted fish sold by sidewalk vendors in a busy commercial area, like in San Jose Gusu, are observed to be sold a hundred fold, today even if fasting is still to come. The worst part is, these vendors do not pay business licenses and are not inspected by the City Health Office  sanitary Inspectors as to the freshness of fish they sell and do they follow safety health regulations. Most of their broiled or roasted fish are overpriced and innocent buyers do not even have an inkling if those cooked fishes are safely fit for human consumption. Table Talk, hopes that sanitary inspectors will find time to inspect those fish vendors in San Jose Gusu, fronting Joan’s Pharmacy.