Editorial

Time to be proactive vs. COVID-19

IT is time for our local governments and agencies to be more circumspect in assessing situations in their localities. The series of news about cancelling fiestas and other traditional celebrations amid the COVID-19 scare (yes, scare is what it’s really all about today) are disheartening to say the least in the face of continued ability of our government to keep COVID-19 away from our doorsteps.

The country has been fortunate to be without cases of infection of COVID-19 since it was called out in December.  That’s more than 60 days of clean slate and we must give credit to our frontliners and policy makers at the Department of Health. But how long must we cower in fear even knowing that even the risks of mortality of COVID-19 are at 2%, and knowing that vulnerability lies in elderlies and children with weak immunities?

We have been defensive long enough and it’s time to launch an intensive information campaign on how to build people’s strength and immunities, to be resistant to COVID-19 and other communicable diseases… and get on with our lives.

Our local health offices should begin to focus on tagging individuals in their localities who appear vulnerable and should consciously be assisted to make them less vulnerable. Provide them vitamins, prescribe food items for them, and teach them personal hygiene practices. We have the senior citizen centers to facilitate the efforts. Schools should schedule fora and symposium to teach students basic hygiene practices in schools, at home and in public places.

In brief, it’s time to work towards being proactive instead of being simply passive, waiting for the worse to happen. Let’s aim for normalcy to return to our lives.

 

Press freedom

PRESS freedom is not the issue in the ABS-CBN case. It’s the media network’s franchise renewal application that Congress will either approve or disapprove.   The noise over the “slow” action by the Lower House can only be the handiwork of the network’s allies.  It resonates nationwide, even worldwide, as ABS-CBN is present in many parts of the world for quite some time now.  But whether or not the media outfit deserves another 25-year franchise is the exclusive province of Congress.  Now, let’s be clear.  Should Congress reject the franchise extension, that won’t be a blow against press freedom.  Never.  Far from that.  The franchise approval—or its non-approval—will hinge mainly on the merits of the application.  Central focus would be: Did ABS-CBN violate the Constitution in the course of its operation the last 25 years?   That simple.

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