A Tribute to Corazon "Dinky" Soliman
A tribute to a mediator, consensus builder, community organizer, mentor and public servant
We are releasing this issue in between critical events in the Philippines: the super typhoon Odette (International Name: Rai) that devastated the middle portion of the Philippines in December 2021, the resurgence of COVID-19 cases with its new variants, and the upcoming synchronized national and local elections in May 2022.
Super Typhoon Odette, according to many authorities, is yet another proof that climate change is real. It was the latest, and definitely not the last, of a lengthening list of super typhoons (categories 4-5) to visit the Philippines after Yolanda in 2013. This series of extreme climatic events, along with other natural and human-induced disasters that visited us in the past six years, has brought monumental destruction of lives, homes, livelihoods, physical infrastructure, and natural resources leaving many of us poorer.
COVID-19, for its part, has claimed thousands of lives, continually put restrictions in the way we live and effectively driven our economy to a downward spiral. The national lockdown imposed by the Duterte Government - one of the tightest and longest in the world - forced the closure of many businesses, especially micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, resulting in massive unemployment and hunger, ballooning the country's poverty incidence to more than 26%.
These events, and more, are meaningfully intertwined as they test not only the resilience of our communities but more importantly our ability to collectively understand and analyze the challenges that confront us, and eventually translate our analyses in selecting the kind of leadership we want installed. Considering the urgency of these conditions on our survival as peoples and as a sovereign nation, we need a kind of governance that can lead us towards beating deadlines. The incoming administration has to ensure our capability to adapt to the impacts of climate change lest there be no turning back for us. COVID-19 has to be stopped, our economy resuscitated and our people's health secured lest we face a grim future. Our claim to the West Philippine Sea has to be asserted to help ensure our food security, livelihoods for our poor fishers, enjoyment of the vast economic potential of our natural resources, and the continued exercise of our sovereignty over our EEZ.
MedNet's desire is for communities to engage in active and productive conversations so that we can at least have a common understanding of the kind of administration we need to put in place.
We also dedicate this issue to Dinky Soliman who joined her Creator on September 19, 2021. Dinky was MedNet's visionary and organizer. The way she lived, her contributions to development work in the Philippines and her excellence in public service will always inspire us.