DAVAO City was at it again last Monday. That is, it topped once more among the five leading producers of Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID 19) infections in the country.
What is happening to the city? Why are some other cities and provinces less developed and wanting in medical facilities and professionals gaining against the dreaded virus and Davao City is stocked up there at the top?
The various health protocols are well-laid and the leaders of our city, the mayor specifically, are not wanting in memorandum orders and enabling ordinances to strengthen the restrictions provided in the protocols. Yet, we are still suffering from what could be a stigma-creating “unlofty” position that the city has maintained for quite a long period now.
Are we Davaoenos instead are the rightful people worthy of the unpleasant description President Rodrigo R. Duterte once heaped on the Cebuanos as “suberbiyos” when the COVID cases spiked in that city once?
In fact, the other day when television reports had it that there was a new upward trend in new cases in Cebu City, we were anticipating the Central Visayas metropolis will land among the top five list. But it did not. Instead, our Davao City retained the unpleasant distinction.
Now, we are starting to believe that there is something wrong in the implementation aspect of the restrictions provided in the protocols, or that the people in the city are just simply wanting in discipline and respect to authorities.
The only time that many of us realize our indiscretions is when we or someone in the family gets infected by the virus and suffer the fangs of isolation and uncertainty if we or our family member will survive the illness. Should we be surprised that of the total 42,443 COVID cases in Mindanao as of last Monday, the 10,228 are in Davao City?
It is also morbid-generating thought that amidst the growing sophistication of the city’s health facilities and services Davao has the most number of deaths at 876 as of the same day. That is one thing that we should not get amazed at. Rather, it is worth serious soul-searching to find what is wrong and how this could be righted.
The President in his speech during the formal opening of the elevated highway connecting the South and North Luzon expressways said “the Presidency is not a woman’s job. It was his way of dousing cold water to the glowing fire in the call of many for his daughter Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio to run for President in 2022.
His statement has generated a firestorm of negative comments insinuating that the President has very low regard for the capacity of women. In fact, some have called him “misogynist” and wanting in respect to the opposite sex. There were even television commentators who compared the President’s performance in dealing with the on-going pandemic with the achievement of women leaders of such countries as Germany, Sweden, Holland, and New Zealand who these broadcast personalities claimed to have a more impressive record in having the protocols followed.
We believe that these supposed all-knowing broadcast personalities are missing the President’s point. That is, that he was merely implying that governance in the Philippines is not just dealing in one particular issue such as responding to a pandemic; that it has to deal with corruption in government which since time immemorial has become some kind of a norm in the country; that fighting against the status quo is the most difficult fight in the country’s governance; that the Presidency in the Philippines is one not only most physically-devastating but also emotionally draining responsibility.
And if the comparison of the President’s performance is only to be centered on how the women leaders are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, these television personalities appear to have forgotten many aspects of the equation. Why should they not look at the present COVID situation in Germany now?
How could they have missed knowing that the cases have more than doubled in the new spike? The woman chancellor Angela Merkel, has even put her country under another general lockdown.
And what about Sweden, Holland and New Zealand? Why do these personalities not look into the said countries’ population size and areas? Why do they not look into the history and norms of its people; they’re being born to pay homage to their kings and royalties?
For certain, they will know that their people are raised to be obedient to the authority since a long time ago and that their obeisance is part of their tradition. That very much unlike the countries mentioned, in the Philippines people are raised conscious of their rights to express their opinion and belief; of their freedom from interventions, whether these are coming from the outside world or from among their fellow Filipinos. That all these freedoms are guaranteed by the Constitution and all its enabling laws.
And these are the same freedoms that the Presidency has to contend with all the way up to the realization of any goal it intends to achieve for the Filipinos. In all its roads towards what it sees as good for the people, every Filipino can invoke his right to put thorns on the way oftentimes converting them into roads to perdition.
The President, in saying that the presidency is “not a woman’s job,” might have thought based on his personal experience, surviving the journey on such thorny roads could be extremely difficult for a woman.
Again, this is our personal take on the President’s statement. All our readers have the freedom to disagree with us. After all, this is our personal opinion to another personal view on the issue.
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