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Rough Cuts | Some welcome news amidst COVID-19

Here are some bits of good news for the CoViD-19 wary government authorities and people of the Davao Region, more so from the whole of Davao City.

According to P/Maj Eudisan Gultiano, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office (PRO) XI all the 560 PNP personnel manning the different health checkpoints all over the Davao Region provinces and cities have remained healthy.. They are not infected with the deadly CoViD 19 that is causing the most devastating pandemic all over the world.

Yes, the people of the region should be happy with such disclosure. After all, police personnel manning checkpoints are among the front liners in the government’s effort to contain the spread of the deadly virus in this part of the country. For these policemen, manning checkpoints made them vulnerable to the CoViD infection because they are among those who encounter different individuals travelling from one place to another to fulfill work requirements as well as those who simply do not care for others in this time of a very serious health crisis.

That is why, according to the PRO XI spokesperson, the police personnel assigned to man checkpoints are also wearing personal protective equipment including face masks and even face shields. They are also provided hygiene kits that obviate the possibility of them bringing the virus when they go home to their respective families or to their offices. They are also ordered to immediately wash their uniforms properly and take a bath after every shift.

Late last week, P/Maj. Gultiano further disclosed that the PNP has a total of 50 officers nationwide who were tested positive of CoViD 19.

Thus, it is a good thing that none of the 50 comes from the Davao Region police ranks. But of course our policemen in this part of the country should not be complacent. They have to maintain their vigilance and take the necessary precautions to remain in top physical shape while they are still doing their assigned responsibility in battling the spread of the deadly virus.

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And here is also another piece of good news for residents of Davao City and its neighboring areas.

Remember the most talked-about CoViD 19 victim who participated in a multi-million pesos cock derby in a gallera in Matina shortly before he died sometime late last March?

According to Dr. Lenny Rivera, Department of Health Region XI director, in a statement to the local media, some 738 people who went to the cock derby when the aficionado from Luzon was there have already been contact-traced by health authorities.

In other words, they are already located and their identities known.

Therefore, it is possible that the concerned government agencies may have already undertaken precautionary measures to isolate them, conduct tests on them to check the presence of the virus in their bodies, or make them comply with all protocols necessary to prevent them from spreading the virus if they are already infected with it.

Without doubt they may have already been given medical interventions so their lives can be saved from becoming part of the statistics of people dying from CoViD 19 in the Philippines.

And talking of cockfights Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio last week made a wise decision. She ordered the police to confiscate all game fowls brought to cockfight arenas both legal and illegal. And the order of the lady mayor is not just limited to the confiscation of the fighting cocks but also for the police to cook the game fowls.

This kind of extreme mandate by the mayor came after reports reached her office that there are still enthusiasts or plain gamblers who continue to hold cockfights in secret locations.

Now the question that should be asked is whether the mayor has authorized the police to also feed themselves with the cooked game fowls. Or, should Mayor Inday be adding one more instruction to the police to share the cooked fighting birds with those who are badly in need of food in this time of extreme community quarantine when many are unable to earn money for their family?

And what are these complaints we heard quite loudly from residents of remote barangays that until the day we wrote this column they have not yet received even a single centavo from the promised financial assistance under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) of the government.

We know of one barangay in Tugbok district the officials of which really took time out to explain to the residents why only about one half of the number of families in the barrio can receive help from the SAP. The officials conducted meetings with residents belonging to the different villages to explain the process of distributing the money from the national government. They also explained why only those who met the criteria set by the government can get financial assistance.

But it’s been more than one week since the meetings were conducted and still there is no news on the schedule of the distribution of the money.
Sometimes we cannot blame people invoking an old adage to express their frustration on the delay of the government assistance.

The adage now in the mouths of those waiting is: “Of what use is the grass if the horse that is to be fed with it is already dead due to hunger.”
We thought the President’s message that “I would not want to see any Filipino dying with their eyes wide open due to hunger in this time of CoViD 19” is clear enough.

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