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ROUGH CUTS | Our colonial mentality still exists




YESTERDAY, March 1, was the first day of the celebration of Fire Prevention Month nationwide.

As we wrote this column middle of the morning yesterday we did not hear any breaking news of fire incidents in Davao City.

Ironically in the past years, the Fire Prevention Month was usually opened with some kind of fiery welcome either during the first day or days after. Of course, we are not wishing that this would again happen.

We are fervently hoping that with our experiences in the past years, people would learn to be more careful and observant to the maximum of all the safety measures necessary to prevent any disastrous fire to happen.

As many say, “An ounce of prevention is always worth a pound of cure. Simply put, if everyone is careful in everything he or she does, it is unlikely that incidents that would lead us to perdition would be avoided and that we too, could escape being blamed by anyone for any disaster happening in his or her life.

We can only hope that this whole month of March 2021 will truly be a fire prevention month and that no disastrous fire incident will ever happen in the next 30 days and for the rest of the year.


Last Sunday late afternoon, the first shipment of the vaccine being anticipated to stop the continuation of the CoViD 19 pandemic, arrived in the Philippines. The shipment contains some 600 thousand doses of vaccine from Sinovac, a donation from the Chinese government. It is manufactured in China and unlike other donations made by the Chinese government to other countries, it was delivered to the Philippines using a Chinese airplane. All donations made by China to other countries were actually picked up by the recipient government at their own expense.

Critics of the administration still insist that the vaccine is not of the quality to effectively control the virus because it is reported only to have a 50 percent efficacy rate and that the Philippine government seems to have a degree of bias in favor of the Chinese product than those coming from western countries.

There are also those who insisted that the donation is in exchange for the Philippines’ giving some sovereignty concession on certain territorial assets of the country to China. They are even insinuating that the present administration is allowing Chinese control over certain islands in the West Philippine sea. This despite the assurance made by the President that no such concession has ever been offered in exchange for the vaccine donation and that China did not demand anything from the Philippines.

Well, it is clear that the administration critics’ line has betrayed their pro-American sentiment that even in the choice of vaccines that they want to be procured by the Philippines must be those coming from either the United States or European countries. Somehow. The critics continue to live in the notion that anything Asian is of low quality and less effective or durable than Western products.

What a travesty! How could these critics have very low regard for the capability of Asians and the products made by them? Yet, they are among those who immediately lay claim to the ethnic origin of Asians when they shine in whatever field they pursue in the Western countries. Yes, how long was it when we Filipinos were quick to claim the ethnic origin of a youthful engineer who is part of a team that made the sending of an unmanned vehicle to the planet Mars successful? We praised the guy in high heavens saying that his fate is more than an extraordinary achievement. Yet, the guy was schooled and raised in the United States. So, giving him the accolade is more than an admission that we believe in the capability of Asians be they Filipino or Chinese and other Asian nationalities.

But how come these critics of the administration so despise the quality of the Chinese manufactured vaccine even as it has been certified by the Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration? Would they prefer that we Filipinos continue to be slaves of Western colonizers and be instruments of their influence instead of helping our fellow Asian nations form a block that the Westerners cannot easily bully around and rob of their own dignity as nations?

What is funny is that the critics do not trust the Chinese-made vaccine and expressed a strong preference for Western manufactured inoculants. Yet, somehow, they have not much effort to help Filipinos with scientific inclinations to even just pursue projects that could lead to the discovery and production of our own vaccine.
Instead, the critics’ pre-occupation is devoted to finding faults and weaknesses in every government move to address the present crisis and connect them to other issues that would make the government appear totally inutile in doing its responsibility.

Imagine in the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) Covaxs facility’s failure to make good its commitment to deliver some 500 thousand doses of AstraZeneca vaccine they still want to heap the blame on our government? It is an issue of lack of supply so it is clearly the supplier’s fault. After all how many nations are vying to lock in the vaccines for their use compared to the capacity of the manufacturers to produce?


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