Editorial

A fair warning

OUR locally elected officials, from the barangay officials to the mayors, suddenly find themselves in the most enviable positions that they never imagined would happen.  They have been tasked by the national government to manage millions of resources to be used to help ensure the success of the Enhance Community Quarantine (ECQ) but with one objective – to distribute food commodities and cash to all their constituents not for a day but for daily subsistence for as long as the ECQ is in place.

It’s virtually manna from heaven, having access to so much resources largely at their discretion, from selecting beneficiaries to determining cash allocations and food packs for their constituents.

But if the elected officials are not discerning enough to know the risks to their careers by their performance in this time of crisis, they must be told this early that they are and will be made directly accountable to President Duterte, not to the Commission on Audit, for the manner they accomplish their tasks as mandate by Bayanihan Act of 2020. No less than the president has made it clear that the citizenry should call out any official who misuses the funds.

Hence, the erring official risks being humiliated by a public dressing down by the president himself if one beneficiary cries out how he or she has been cheated and deprived of what ‘s due for his subsistence.

So, here’s a fair warning to our accountable mayor and barangay kap. They can either look forward to a long political career or see the end of their career by a lowly handicapped person or a daily wage earner or a solo parent whom they cheated.

 

Mr. Government

WE need the government in this most difficult of times. But how can it help us when we don’t help our own selves?  Disobeying government’s order to stay home will not help us destroy COVID-19.  How can government reach us when we continue to refuse to cooperate?  Skirting government’s checkpoints will make you either a virus spreader or a victim of infection.  How can government solve our woes when we actively participate in sharing fake information through the social media?  If we cannot help our neighbors, we deserve no help from government.  And yet, it is easiest to be an ally of government: Just heed Mr. Government.  One obedient citizen can save lives, if not the one nearest you right now.  To paraphrase Cleisthenes (508-507 BC), the Greek father of democracy: “Only the government can ensure a safe society.”  Let’s do our part. Listen and next obey, please?

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