The new year brings new hope for every Filipino dreaming of improving their economic status and living a life where they can have three meals a day.

This is a modest dream of a small Filipino that remains a dream due to the lack of action from those in authority. Often, lawmakers and local officials think of providing assistance instead of teaching people to live by their own means, such as relying on fish they catch themselves.

In the new appropriation budget, a billion-peso budget has been allocated with the aim of providing direct assistance to many Filipinos after the pandemic. This is a folly of those who create laws because if we keep giving without a long-term solution, there will always be a shortage of food on the dining table, as most assistance programs only lead to dependence among beneficiaries.

May the government strengthen livelihood programs and projects that will empower our fellow citizens who constantly rely on aid. Let us teach them how to live independently, not just relying on their ayuda.

We are leaving behind the “Year of the Kuniho” and looking forward to the “Year of the Wooden Dragon.” The wooden dragon symbolizes vitality and creativity, associated with success, intelligence, and honor in Chinese culture. People born in the Year of the Wood Dragon are full of energy and drive, dreaming of changing the world with innovative ideas.

May the stars align in our favor, and may we see the beautiful light in 2024.

Happy New Year, Mga Kaperyodiko!