Not the time to relax

OVER the past week, we have noted not only the increasing presence of crowds in the streets, more opened stores  and worse, no observance of the social and physical distancing.

The epidemic (or pandemic) is far from over. In fact, COVID-19 is here to stay.  Pangasinan can’t afford to put its guard down only because there have been no new confirmed case over the last 14 days.

Perhaps the frenzy created by the distribution of the Social Amelioration Program contributed to the relaxed mood but our communities must be made to understand by local governments that confirmed cases can bloat overnight. It only takes one undetected carrier in a crowd to make the numbers zoom past our improved numbers.

Take the case of Cebu province. It has literally become one of the epicenters of COVID-19 in the country. Why so, when the Enhanced Community Quarantine was ordered only in Luzon island? The explanation is simple. The communities in that province disregarded the established protocol in the belief that there can be no confirmed case since they are hundreds of miles away from Metro Manila.

It is that view that can push back the province to square one since there is still no indication that efforts to stop the virus have already paid off.

The numbers may be seeing a decline but it is not over till it is over. Our local governments must wake up the guards from their stupor, keep their checkpoints active and strict, and to keep a close watch of violators of quarantine.


Hang them?

THE government is trying its best to provide help to the Filipino people amid the Covid-19 pandemic.  Aside from relief goods, cold cash is being doled out as well to virtually everybody.  Billions of pesos have been earmarked for social amelioration funds distributed practically non-stop since March.  But there are gripes from many disadvantaged folks complaining of not receiving the entire amount promised by the government.  Many others claimed having signed for slashed cash assistance.  Chief culprits?  Some barangay officials, if not staffers themselves from agencies tasked to do the job.  They steal, if not filch a part of, doleouts intended for the needy.  Red tape oftentimes rigs list of recipients, paving the way for shenanigans to rob our poor folk of what’s due them. Hang them at the public plaza?

Indeed, in times of crisis, we have the good and the bad.  Another sad fact of life.  Ugly.

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