Let there be blood

>> Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Ike Señeres

              Money remittance is an antiquated term, because no real money is being transmitted nowadays from the sender to the receiver. Even the term “sender” is also antiquated, because the money value is not really being sent per se.
What really happens is that money or the value of money is being credited or debited from one account to another, as the case may be. The term “wired” is also obsolete, although it may still be partly correct if the transaction goes through a purely fixed wire infrastructure.
That rarely happens by the way, and for good measure, it is actually better to use the term “money transaction” instead of “money remittance”. Having said that, I wonder why the remittance of money is still big business. As a matter of fact, some banks even charge fees if you deposit to an out of town account, as if that transaction costs them money.
Well, my topic for this column is about blood banking and not about money banking, but I could not help but notice the similarities between the two systems.
For one, the terms “deposit” and “withdraw” are applicable to both, with some variations of course. Blood donors actually do not have “accounts” As bank depositors do, but it is interesting to note that less than one percent of Filipinos are blood donors, and less than twenty percent of Filipinos are bank depositors.
I would not even make an issue of those who do not have savings accounts, but the numbers are alarming that four out of five Filipinos are unbanked or perhaps even “un-bankable” so to speak. We can talk about financial inclusion until our eyes turn blue, but that will never ever happen if the majority of Filipinos do not even have bank accounts.
To some extent, it could be said that not too many Filipinos donate blood or open bank accounts because of the lack of awareness. We could even use that same explanation as to why not too many Filipinos segregate their solid wastes for recycling purposes. However, we could say just the same that we should not stop with creating awareness. Based on the AIDA model, “Awareness” should be followed by “Interest”, and then by “Decision” and finally by “Action”. In that context, where did we stop and where did we fail? Have we not piqued the “Interest” of our people, so much so that they could not move on yet to the next steps of “Decision” and “Action”?
            Although we are mainly talking about blood donations and bank deposits in this column, we could say in a similar context that perhaps the reason why waste recycling has failed is because the people have not graduated up to the “Action” stage.
Without pointing fingers and throwing blame at anyone, I could say without holding back that many government agencies do not have adequate budgets for mass communications, and that is clearly the reason why they could not really bring out their messages to the majority of the people.
Some might argue with that reasoning however, because social media is now basically free, and all that the government agencies really is to implement their own communications plan, so that they could bring out their messages.
Although that sounds easier said than done, these agencies could always resort to outsourcing if and when they have to. If security guards and janitorial services could be outsourced, I do not say why mass communications and social media services could not be outsourced.
In fairness to everyone, it could actually be said that most Filipinos would be “aware” of the need for recycling and moreover, they may already be “interested” to participate in a recycling program if it would also be easier for them to “decide” and to take “action”.
In the case of obeying traffic rules, we could perhaps say that most Filipinos would want to be law abiding, except that they might want everyone else to abide, before they would do it too on their own. Perhaps that could also happen in the case of recycling, most people would do it too, if they can see that everyone is already doing it, and that they may be the only one not doing it.
Although I would favor more to offer a carrot rather than to threaten with a stick, I believe that a stronger signal from the government to enforce the laws would also help a lot.
There is a saying “not to tempt the mortals” but I think that could be said in reverse, to “tempt the mortals” if they would participate in blood donation and waste recycling activities. Although there appears to be a law prohibiting the payment of cash in exchange for blood extraction, it could possibly work if blood donors are rewarded with something of value each time they donate, or they could simply be given a chance to win something if they give something.
If it seems to you that I am wracking my brain to think of solutions to the problems that I have brought forward, my answer is yes, because these problems affect all of us. Don’t you wish that blood supplies would be available when you need it, if you need it? We have the technology to do it, therefore let us do it.
For feedback email iseneres@yahoo.com or text +639083159262


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