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ROUGH CUTS |   How massive is the city’s information drive?




Vic N. Sumalinog

SOMETIME ago, the local government of Davao City committed to launching a massive information drive on whatever activities it is doing or going to do in relation to the city’s response against the existing coronavirus disease.  By massive we took it to mean that all information on the matter will be made easily available to the masses, whether they are in the urban or most rural areas.

     We are just wondering how massive is the drive the city has launched since then because for now, one very important piece of information that needs to be known by certain sectors of the city’s population is the definitive schedule of the administration of the second dose of the vaccines. Yes, during the administration of the first dose the vaccine recipients are made aware that they have just to count how many days after and come back to the vaccination hub for the second dose – depending of course on the brand of the vaccine being inoculated.

  Of course, it can be understood that the schedule of the second vaccination dose is dependent on the availability of the vaccine that has been earlier given. But it appears that while there are vaccine brands that have arrived lately in Davao City, it was not announced on broadcast news that this or that brand arrival is for the second dose for those earlier administered.

     We are referring to AstraZeneca here in which those who got vaccinated some times between May 15 to 20 have yet to know if there are already arrivals for the second dose and when they can have it. We are more specific for those vaccines at the Calinan Central Elementary School vaccination hub.

     Many residents in the area who were given the first those and were promised to be informed through text message for the second dose schedule could not be reached not only because of distance but because in many areas cellular phone signal is not available. Their only hope is the radio and television broadcast since most households either have transistor radio or television sets where they can listen for an important announcement on the matter.

     Unfortunately, the much-hyped massive information drive doesn’t seem to exist. If it does really, people are at a loss what is its carrier media. There is of course that station that may have gotten the favor from City Hall. But many are wondering how far is its signal’s reach that in the rural barangays people cannot have it on their radio.

     On the other hand, in some television news broadcasts there are pronouncements from the city government that are being carried but the television news, instead of getting it direct from the horses’ mouth they are quoting the sources, more often the mayor herself, giving the statement through the radio station concerned.

     We are not in any way underestimating the capability of the said broadcast station, but maybe if the city government has to give flesh to its commitment of massive information drive on the CoViD activities it has to utilize any medium of information dissemination that can be harnessed in the city. 

     Also, why cannot the city use the different barangay councils as official disseminators of information? After all, its members are right there in the barangay. Through the various barangay functionaries, they can fan out to the different villages to inform the people of the different activities and the schedules so they will be effectively made aware.

     Is it not very cumbersome for the people in distant rural villages to go to the centers of the district or barangays to inquire about the schedules when there is a restriction on movement and there is clearly a lack of finances to travel just to get the information?


     On politics at the local level, it appears that whether or not Mayor Inday Sara will make a run for the Presidency, the reins of governance in Davao City will still be with the present ruling family. And it will still be a “walk in the park” for any one of the Duterte siblings who will cast his or her luck.

     And why are we saying this? It is because until now no one has manifested interest in taking on any of the Presidential scions. The most likely to have the “It” to challenge any of the Duterte sibling – Karlo Nograles – is now effectively “caged” by the administration after he was appointed and accepted a very influential position in the Cabinet. And further, he is also being restrained by his own political plans for a national elective position.

     So, who is left with resources, name, and guts to take on the ruling family? None so far. Therefore, it is our personal take that the elections in Davao City this coming May 2022 can only create a semblance of excitement at the fight for the city council seat. And all of them will be vying for the administration’s endorsement. That is the one worth watching.


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