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ROUGH CUTS | Loose talks, maybe, but…

Vic N. Sumalinog

THIS is a true story of a person who knew by heart his recurring ailment is not a CoVId 19 case. The guy has been diagnosed to be suffering from a heart illness and was made aware by his doctor of the symptoms that at any given moment could result in a cardiac arrest.
So one day in this time of the pandemic the said person asked to be taken to a hospital in Davao City so that medical intervention can be made. The attending doctor wanted him admitted so that further tests can be made. The person was told that with a heart ailment the possibility is that he is easy prey to the deadly virus and can become a “person under investigation” (PUI) for CoViD.
The guy however, insisted that he would not agree to an admission because the long years that he has his heart ailment already made him familiar with the symptoms of his medical condition. Besides, he fears the possibility that even if his case is not really that of CoViD, being a PUI would result in his being isolated from the rest of his family members. The attendant stress of isolation, he told his attending doctor, could exacerbate his heart problem and could result in a serious cardiac arrest. So the person pleaded with the doctor to allow him to go home and have him rest and take his medicines in his residence.
The doctor though, insisted that he be admitted and that if he insisted to refuse admission he will call the police. The threat made the patient reluctantly change his mind despite his suspicion that he could become another addition to the statistics of the recorded number of new CoViD cases in the city.
We agree that as a person with heart illness the said person is one of those who belongs to the most vulnerable sectors of society as far as the virus infection is concerned. What we are not in accord with is the manner with which the doctor had coerced the patient into agreeing to be confined. The doctor should have used a more diplomatic approach. Easily the patient’s trust could have been earned.
Now we know the reason why there are claims by some people that a lot of other illnesses affecting some people, especially if they eventually die, are being lumped into the statistics of CoViD 19 victims. Like the preceding story here and another incident in Davao del Sur, the patients simply manifested some of the symptoms of the dreaded illness and they ended up included in the statistics of either new infection or deaths.
The Davao del Sur case, according to a neighbor who is a close friend of our family, the supposed CoViD 19 victim actually swallowed a large-diameter coin. It stuck in his throat blocking his breath. He was taken to the hospital to have the coin extracted.
Of course it is consequential that when the windpipe in one’s throat is blocked the victim will have a hard time breathing. And that was exactly what happened to the Davao del Sur incident. The extraction was successful. However, to the chagrin of the relatives of the victim, they later found out their patient was added to the list of new CoViD infection in that southern Davao province.
Now we could not help but think that the alleged hospital reporting strategy is a “money generating” opportunity. More so because hospitals can charge the bill of each patient attended to, from the amount that PhilHealth had advanced to them under the now notorious “Advance Reimbursement Mechanism scheme.
Loose talks, many would think. But isn’t there a saying that “When there is smoke, there is fire”?
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We take our hat off to the policy makers of the Home Mutual Development Fund or PagIBIG. They have displayed utmost sensitiveness to the current economic condition of most of the agency’s members brought about by the 10-month-old global health pandemic.
We are referring to the decision of PagIBIG to delay by another year (in 2022) the implementation of the increase in monthly contribution of agency members. Such a move is one big relief to the members themselves as well as to the companies they are working with.
Yes, we all know that even the minimum of P100 monthly contribution by members is matched with the same amount by the employer. So, the deferment of the hike in monthly contribution can easily give some degree of flexibility to members in managing whatever money they earned while the country is still under the reign of health protocols.
Moreover, the agency is also offering easy-to-avail loans under the calamity situation. And such benevolent acts are one manifestation of the agency’s desire to rescue its members from the muck as the economy of the country is still struggling to be back on its feet.
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Even as the government is claiming that over the years it has succeeded in dismantling shabu laboratories in the entire country, and that the numerous police operations have resulted to the arrest of so many persons engaged in the illegal trade, and the confiscations of billions worth of illegal drugs, there seems to be no exhaustion of supplies all over.
And these are official police records every time the law enforcers undertake buy-bust operations, raids and searches on houses and drug joints. Yes, despite the supposed destruction of illegal drugs manufacturing facilities the pushers still remain active. And their merchandise still value in the hundreds of thousands and even millions of pesos.
So, where do all these illegal drugs traders get their supplies of the prohibited drugs? Have the former owners or operators of drug laboratories changed tact? Have they instead become importers of the illegal merchandise?
It’s really very unusual that the police have not arrested real big-time lords that may now be in the importation of the illegal drugs or part of a world-wide syndicate controlling the multi-billion trade. Or, are the authorities too used to pointing the source of the drugs from some inmates in the Bilibid Prisons?
And assuming that the illegal drugs distribution outside the prison wall is still run by the inmate drug kings, how come the police and other law enforcement groups are unable to get information as to the source of the drugs?
Can anyone please provide a credible answer?

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