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ROUGH CUTS: Gov’t should now shift some of the burdens

Many businessmen in Davao City have expressed apprehension on the possible situation of the city’s economy under a reversion to the general community quarantine (GCQ) status as it struggles to contain the spread of the corona virus disease 2019 (CoViD 19)..
The local business people have raised their sentiment because even at the modified GCQ quarantine level in the city in the last fifteen days they have noticed that they could hardly meet the income requirements of their business to foot their day-to-day operation.
Moreover, they claimed that when they were allowed to operate on a very limited capacity they invested even more in order to meet the health safety requirements imposed by the government. The additional expenses they incurred were a drain from their already exhausted capital. But they said they have willingly acquiesced to it because they think of the safety of their customers and employees given the prevalence and the spiking number of those infected by the deadly CoViD 19 health pandemic in the city. We share with the worries of the businessmen. Yes, we do not have any business, but our children
have a fledgling but clearly earning entertainment support service business operating for some months before the quarantine regime.
They have pooled in money to buy sophisticated equipment for sound systems and lighting enhancement. In fact the encouraging result of their small business made them decide to get some of the gadgets and other appurtenances on credit. And they did not have any problem paying for their account as the rental of the sounds and light equipment hardly had any break at all.
Then the CoViD 19 came like a thief of the night and the subsequent imposition of the enhanced community quarantine and of curfew hours. With it all entertainment activities and large gatherings like parties, grand weddings, even and corporate get-togethers were stopped. The sounds business became silent and its complementing light enhancement trade went off as well.
Today our children’s equipment is stocked inside a small bodega in our farm house gathering dust in the last five months of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, they have to scrimp out of whatever is left from their pockets or made available for lending from their friends to pay their accounts with the sounds and lights equipment suppliers.
And talking of the spiking number of CoViD 19 victims all over the country including Davao City, it seems that it is only the government that the people are depending on for their protection against the deadly virus.
Despite reminders from authorities that “We are in this together,” meaning in the fight against the pandemic, still many continue to look up at the government as the source of their salvation from the pandemic. The majority of the less privileged among us keep on pinning their hope for their daily survival from relief assistance from the government and some few responsible corporate citizens and generous individuals.
Any keen observer can very well see that most of the people found violating health protocols also come from the less privileged sectors. Footages of television reports clearly show that those apprehended not wearing face masks, or not observing social distancing, drinking in public places, doing illicit cockfights are residing in crowded barangays and in informal settlers’ agglomerations.
Of course we agree with their common justification when caught violating health protocols especially that of going out of their residence even if their barangays are placed in hard lockdowns. Yes, they need to survive. Hence they have to go out to look for money to buy food. They need to go out of their houses to find out where they could get relief assistance from the government and other good Samaritans.
But all the authorities need from them is simply to follow imposed health protocols like wearing a face mask, keep safe distance from others, keep themselves clean all the time, and deny themselves their craving for intoxicating drinks and other vices like gambling that usually result in gathering of a number of people. Are these little denials of personal entitlements not for their own benefit?
To us these are simple requirements that poverty and hardship at this time of the pandemic should not be made a reason not to comply. If every Filipino, regardless of his or her social status, believes that he/she is part of the community, then he is in the battle against the unseen enemy. Therefore, he has a role to play to make the fight defeat the deadly pandemic.
Our take on this matter is that maybe it is about time that the government shifts some of the burden in the fight against CoViD 19 to the other foot soldiers – the people. The government has to reiterate the guidelines even as it has to make clear the repercussions of their non-compliance. Lay down once again all the health protocols and let the people do what they think is best for them.
If they have the will not to obey the precautionary measures because they believe they are invulnerable to the CoViD 19, then let them take the risks of their action.
For now it’s getting too consuming to keep on hearing some people including self-proclaimed experts and government critics heaping all the blame of the increasing figures of CoViD 19 positive on the government but keeping their sights away from the role of protocol violators in the spike of the infection.

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