Be very afraid

THE decision of Governor Amado Espino III to ask for a downgrade for Pangasinan – from a ‘low-risk area’ (no quarantine) to General Community Quarantine (GCQ) was both prudent and practical for the province.

Indeed, to completely remove all protocols for communities will easily give the wrong impression that it’s back to normal, forgetting the ‘new normal’ that we all have to live with. There are already hard lessons to be learned from other countries that suddenly lifted their quarantine and lockdown.

It would appear that the appeal of the governor triggered a review of the standards set for reclassifying protocols because the Inter-Agency Task Force amended its earlier declaration declaring some provinces including Pangasinan and Dagupan City as ‘low-risk areas’ to “No quarantine lifted anywhere”

The city and municipal mayors should take the governor’s concern to heart, and begin to adopt their own new protocols to prepare for the ‘new normal’ in their communities bearing in mind the basics: compulsory wearing of face masks, facilities for washing of hands, social and physical distancing in public areas and avoidance of group and crowd gatherings for at least 12 months.

The basic and common message of LGUs to their constituents during or after MGCQ should be: COVID-19 is still a dangerous, invisible virus that can attack anyone regardless of economic status and age. It’s a virus that can lead to one’s painful death within a week, whose cure can wipe out a lifetime savings of the family!

Be very afraid!


Happy ending?

SPEAKER Alan Peter Cayetano himself played the key role in Congress granting ABS-CBN a six-month provisional authority to operate.  Cayetano has just authored a bill extending the network’s operations up to October 31, 2020, while Congress deliberates on the 25-year extension of the TV’s franchise. The bill blunted the NTC’s (National Telecommunication Commission) May 5 order stopping the outfit’s continued operations.  Cayetano’s law is expected to be approved on its third and final reading possibly on May 18. Then it goes to the Senate where, said Senate President Tito Sotto, it awaits his signature. Next, President Duterte will either approve or veto it.  If Mr. Duterte does not sign it in 30 days, it will lapse into law and, 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette or a major newspaper, it takes effect.  As things seem to appear, do we see a happy ending?

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