"People should follow guidelines, period."
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the nation has been heaping praises on frontliners – all the health workers, especially the doctors and nurses, who have devoted most of their time in attending to thousands of Filipinos affected by the coronavirus disease.
There’s no doubt that all of these frontliners deserve all the praise that they have been getting, exposing themselves in caring for patients who have tested positive for the virus.
Other frontliners, who I believe should also get praises, are members of media, both in print and broadcast (radio and television). They are risking their lives and exposing themselves to the virus just so they could bring to all Filipinos what’s really happening on the ground.
These members of media are there on the spot to give you the news and all the information. Without this, we would be all at a loss on what to do in the fight against a faceless enemy.
With the return of Metro Manila and four provinces, Laguna, Bulacan, Rizal, and Cavite to the General Community Quarantine (GCQ), we can expect another upsurge of COVID-19 cases.
This becomes inevitable because with the return of public transport, like buses and jeepneys, the regular run of MRT-3, LRT 1 and 2, with more people going to work, the return of businesses and industries, mass gatherings and other activities, there would be greater mobility.
We should, however, not judge the government’s response on the basis of the number of COVID-19 cases, but rather on whether or not the government’s response is right or not. In other words, we should ask: Are President Duterte and his team doing right?
My wife and I who have been quarantined for six months are leaving everything to the experts. They should know better than us.
I believe that much of failure or success of the IATF largely depends on the people, on whether they cooperate or not. I am referring to the lack of discipline among many Filipinos who continue to disregard health protocols.
The fact is that most of the people are either ignorant or uneducated. A massive information campaign is needed.
No amount of draconian measures will achieve anything if people are ignorant and uneducated on what they should do in times of crisis.
The need for discipline has always been a big problem for the Philippines. We, Filipinos have the habit of questioning everything the government imposes on us.
Look at the Japaneses. When that incident of a tsunami in northern Japan occurred, the Japanese showed their worth and obeyed everything that Japanese government imposed on them.
I recall during Martial Law, the first imposition of Martial Law on us Filipinos was to cooperate. “Disiplina ang kailangan,” was the battle cry.
The first three months of Martial Law was unlike any other time. People cleaned their front and backyards and also the streets and obeyed all the laws. The bottomline of everything is the need for discipline, Santa Banana!
With all the reports about what is going on at PhilHealth, we need to know why all this is happening.
For so long as human discretion plays a big role in the process, there will always be graft and corruption.
Billions of money are involved in the implementation of the mandate of PhilHealth. Only an angel would be able to resist the temptation not to steal.
So long as the same system prevails, the problem of corruption will certainly stay.
When the first tranche of the SAP or Social Amelioration Program was distributed by local government units, the Department of Interior and Local Government issued a show cause order to over 280 barangay officials in Metro Manila.
This show cause order required barangay officials to say why they should not be indicted for graft and corruption. There have been so many anomalies and complaints in the distribution of cash subsidy to those in need.
So, what ever happened to those DILG orders?