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ROUGH CUTS | Pandemic’s end is not yet in sight




AGAIN, Davao City top the list of five places in the country with most number of new Corona Virus Disease 19 (CoViD 19) cases the other day, Saturday, Janary 23, 2021.

This has been going on for the last many weeks even as the local leadership and health authorities are doing the best they can to arrest the rise in the cases of the virus infection.

We do not really know whether which aspect is lacking. Is it on the teeth of the regulation? On the complacency of those tasked to implement the restrictions? Or, is it on the hard headedness and lack of respect of the Davaoenos to the authorities? Or, can it be both?

Some also suspect that we are just too proud to admit that we need help from other agencies of government in fighting the deadly virus. But whichever, it now appears that we cannot heap the blame to any other person or juridical entities but only to us.

If our local civilian leaders and health authorities continue to be proud and we the people all too trusting in our immunological capability, we might have the distinction of having the record of being the top producer of new virus infection cases when the pandemic is over in the country.

But when will the end be? It’s already one year since the pandemic started as a mere epidemic in Wuhan, China. Today, the end is far from sight except for the noise of some politicians and medical as well as health management program experts wanting to capitalize on the pandemic for whatever it’s worth their plans.

And with regards to the acquisition of the CoViD vaccine the Mayor had mentioned it much earlier than the other local leaders of the country. And of course, we were able to hear later the local legislative body affirming her plan by passing an ordinance setting aside the needed funds for the purpose.

Apparently, all vaccine purchases shall be on a tripartite arrangement. Meaning, the local government must enter into an agreement with the vaccine manufacturer and the national vaccine task force in order to buy the medical prevention. That is the mode the suppliers and in the transactions.

The local government plan is now boosted with the President’s official statement that he is not against it since it is the Pilipino people who’ll benefit in the scheme.

Good thing that the initial activities on the matter are now started in Davao City. In fact, many local governments in the Metro Manila area and Cebu City in the Visayas are now noisy with such efforts. Davao City is already on the go. All the people are doing, and perhaps more excruciating, is the wait for the arrival of the vaccine and the start of the mass vaccination activities.


It is quite unfortunate that in the first fifteen day or so of the year almost five hundred lives are already lost in Davao City due to CoViD 19. And it happened mostly among those brought to the hospitals, not at home. Is not it ironic that the deaths are from the supposed wellness centers where all the medical interventions are given?

According to reports on radio and television quoting official sources, this is happening amidst anticipation of the ultimate prevention – the vaccine.

Why the rise in deaths? Some claim that it is the stress of isolation and lack of attention on the patients that make them even more vulnerable to wishing they’d rather die to end their suffering.

Remember that we are talking of a fire incident here. And many a fire in the past had been attributed to faults in electrical installations. Yet, applicants get their permit without their installation inside getting inspected. So, it is clear who to pinpoint the responsibility when a fire happens.


In a month’s time the country will again be celebrating National Fire Prevention Month. And based on our own experience in the many years that we are made aware of such celebration, fire incidents also had been happening during the period. Usually, upon an investigation of fire authorities, most causes are pinpointed to faulty electrical installations or low-quality electrical materials resulting in short circuits.

Meaning there is laxity in the inspection process of completed electrical wirings of commercial or residential buildings. How come this mess escape the attention of regulators at City Hall? The usual reason is that it lacks manpower to do actual inspection. And why are the installations allowed by the power company if this is the situation.

Of course, the building owners have procured electrical installation permits. So, it is presumed to be assessed correctly. And if actual inspections are wanting, why does the local government not hire a commensurate number of regular inspectors for the purpose?

Why not create the corresponding positions for such so inspections can be made? There are several thousands of quota personnel in the city as a reward for support during the election, why not convert or assign them to do inspections when the ones hired have the skills?

Yes, why not make the quota employees deserve the monthly or daily pay they are receiving by letting them work on legitimate jobs and not just be stationed anywhere at the desire of the barangay officials and political leaders recommending them.
Maybe by assigning them as inspectors of business establishments and residential electrical installations (for those with capabilities), the city government will be able to get maximum returns of the money it is paying them.

For us and perhaps to many others, it is about time that the city leadership starts to revisit this scheme of doing the so-called “pay back” for political debts to leaders and top supporters. Yes, it is time to improve on the traditional way of paying political debts by breaking away from the usual.

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