By Leonardo Micua
AFTER drawing flak for suspending classes of pupils and students too late on August 9, Mayor Brian Lim made another slip four days later on August 13 (Tuesday). He told newsmen in an ambush interview: “Sa lahat ng decision-making na nagyayari sa City Hall, ang pinakamahirap ay ang pag-suspend ng classes because we have to consider many factors”.
He continued: “But at the end of the day, yong responsibilidad sa ating mga estudyante ay nasa inyo po mga parents. Whether you allow your children to go to school or not, it is your call”.
The sad part is not many parents are ready to take on that responsibility for fear of consequences for their children in school.
One colleague said Brian appeared like he was surrendering his role to the parents, making them decide whether classes for their children should be suspended or not if it rains or floods occur.
So the next day, the mayor did not suspend classes despite the fact that it was raining hard on certain period of the day and there was a report from adjacent Calasiao that the level of water of the Marusay River, which draws its water from the swelling Sinocalan River, was already above normal and was continuously rising.
Some towns in western Pangasinan also suspended classes but Dagupan, the catch basin of all water from the upland, still did not suspend classes. Naturally, parents still sent their children to school despite the inclement weather.
Then Brian issued Executive Order No. 20 in the afternoon of August 14 ordering the cancellation of classes in all Day Care, kindergarten, elementary, high school and senior high School on August 15, despite another post by his PIO reminding parents’ of the mayor’s statement a day earlier that it is the call of parents to decide.
This left many wondering if his new directive, preemptively suspending classes on August 15 was a change of heart that it’s no longer the call of parents to make their children go to school or not.
But on August 15, there was no big downpour but only brief rain shower throughout Dagupan. The sun was smiling bright in the morning through late noon that even menfolk brought out their umbrellas for cover from the searing heat of the sun.
Jeepney drivers sulked over the declaration because the usual number of students they expected on a sunny day were nowhere. That meant lost income on a day that was supposed to be a regular day.
This obvious faux pas prompted many to suspect that something must have gone wrong in Brian’s kitchen in the decision-making process, giving conflicting pronouncements on the simple matter of suspending classes or not.
In just more than 45 days in office, Brian seemed to be indecisive, hesitant to take responsibility, only to take a belated corrective action that had no justifiable basis. This is not good.
Our unsolicited advice to him: Make his men to go out, wade through floodwaters if necessary in order to gather data that will support his next moves. If his men can’t do this, they have no business staying at city hall a day longer. And what of the PDRRMO and PARMC? No inputs from them?
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At the Capitol, we heard that Gov. Amado Espino III raised his concern about the brain drain that has began to decimate ranks of staff of provincial hospitals to officials of the Department of Health (DOH) Regional Office who called on him at the provincial capitol recently.
He cited the case of Bayambang District Hospital whose four nurses quit and left simultaneously for better paying jobs abroad as nurses. Then the four enticed the three others left behind to join them abroad. That left the District Hospital virtually without any nurse.
But the problem is universal. What ails the Bayambang District Hospital is also being felt by other government hospitals and even private hospitals in Pangasinan.
Unless the nurses are given better pay, the urge to seek greener pasture by the country’s health professionals will not stop. It’s time we give them more decent and better living wages, or else they will all head to countries like New Zealand, Australia, Canada, United States, Germany, Japan and Saudi Arabia that promise them higher pay and better life.
Our universities are producing thousands of nurses yearly but they are all yearning to work abroad precisely because of the promise for a better life out there.
This is a problem that Congress should address immediately.
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