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ROUGH CUTS | They challenge their fate in the pandemic

IT’S NICE to hear that some sectors of the Davao population are taking with positivity the fate that befalls their lives as a consequence of the deadly CoViD 19 pandemic.

We are referring to those people who are in the business of organizing events and related livelihood of which there are a good number in this southern metropolis.

Yes, the events organizers and those who work with them suddenly found themselves losing their businesses because the CoViD 19 has rendered them clientless since the start of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and even until now where most parts of the Philippines are already under the much relaxed modified general community quarantine or MGCQ.

Of course there is no denying the fact that before the pandemic Davao City has evolved into a very vibrant society. Events of this and that kind and with so much persons participating were happening almost every day of the week in Davao and local events organizers had commitments they had to meet up to their necks then to meet.

We are very much familiar with this since our daughter and her husband, in partnership with our eldest son, have their own lights and sounds business catering to one of the most
sought-after requirements for any event – big or small — to be successful.

We could remember there were times when the lights and sounds equipment of our children were rented straight for one week to the point that their aides were already complaining of lack of sleep. Of course there were so many financial rewards for their services. So who cares for sleepless nights, they said.

Then the pandemic came and the ECQ imposed by the government to prevent the spread of the deadly disease forced the cancellations of events of whatever kind all over the country
– Davao City included, of course.

From the testimonies of some of the events organizers themselves less than two months into the pandemic and the absence of activities that could have given them their
keeps, whatever money they managed to save was already gone.

But instead of dramatizing their fate the events organizers and most of their staff are taking their predicament in stride. Showing no trace of personal pride they volunteered to participate in the local government’s “Work for Davao Program,” a project initiated by Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio to help event organizers and other individuals with means of livelihoodclosely related to the here-in-stated business make their
ends meet.

The group’s actuation is in contrast to some of the traditional public utility jeep drivers’ organizations in the National Capital Region. Instead of bartering their services with the government, they stay in groups in the vicinity of the area where their vehicles are parked. Some of their overly “healthy” members are extending their arms with receptacles asking for alms. But on tables at their back, or on top of the hoods of their jeep some of them are deeply engrossed in playing the local game called “dama.”

They position themselves near posters with inscriptions saying they are going hungry and they have no money to buy food for their family. And the government hasn’t given them
any help. They also insist that the administration wants their old jeep thrown out of the Metro’s roads to give way to the jeep modernization program.

In stark difference, one of their kind with age past fifty years, shifted to another kind of livelihood – delivering goods of whatever kind to those who asked for his services. But he is still driving his jeep with some value-added services for the benefit of those who are also adversely affected by the pandemic.

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