Random Thoughts

Timely response from Guv

By Leonardo Micua


AS we write this column, Typhoon ‘Ambo” is lashing Eastern Luzon, and typhoon signal no. 1 is up in eastern and central Pangasinan. This, while we are still in the midst of our continuing battle against the deadly COVID-19.

The memorandum of Gov. Amado Espino III on May 14 to all would-be responders for them to take extra-precaution was timely as they should not lose sight of the fact that the war vs. the coronavirus has not been won.

The governor’s order is for all to follow all safety regulations in handling typhoon refugees in evacuation centers in order to contain the possible spread of COVID-19 is laudible.

Like a thief in the night, COVID-19 may, indeed, strike where it is less expected, particularly in evacuation centers where crowding by families should be expected, hence responders must strictly enforce social distancing, the wearing of face masks, frequent washing of hands, and other health safety measures.

We know that Gov. Pogi does not want the contagion to exacerbate as there are now 43 COVID-19 cases registered so far in Pangasinan. Unlike some local swivel chair executives that we know, Gov. Pogi is hands-on not only in the fight against COVID-but in the distribution of relief goods to quarantined communities and in providing regular updates of the contagion to the public for their information.

He was often seen on the ground under the blazing sun talking not only to his department heads and also to members of the rank and file in the provincial government to make sure that his instructions are followed to the letter.

He’s really a chip off the old block as we recall his father, former Governor Amado Espino Jr. who worked in similar extreme crisis.

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We note with great apprehension, if not dismay, that the Dagupan City Hall is still bent on pushing a number coding scheme for private vehicles on major thoroughfares despite a storm of negative reaction on social media (where else?)  from the public, most of whom are car owners.

 The report that we got is, the proponent of the measure briefly withdrew the ordinance for a few revisions but re-filed it. This, we think, is the one being discussed in another special session (the second this month) of the Sangguniang Panlungsod.

 Originally proposed until the current General Community Quarantine is over in order to contain the number of vehicles bringing people to downtown Dagupan whose social distancing may be difficult to enforce, the proposed ordinance we believe is designed to last for a long time or until a vaccine against COVID-19 could be finally found.

 Others interpreted this as a scheme to bleed dry some car owners–Dagupenos and others from the outside– already badly bruised by the quarantine.

 We want to emphasize here that private car owners are not milking cows for the city government to boost its funds as the- fines for violation of the ordinance range from P1,000 to P5,000 for the first second and third and subsequent offenses.      

 With a curfew to be imposed from 9:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. being mulled, they in the city should realize that these will already make Dagupan unfriendly to investors and businesses, a stark contrast to what Dagupan has become when Mayor Belen Fernandez was still on the saddle and the city was recognized by the Department of Trade and Industry as most business- friendly city  in Region 1.    

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Some viewers did not actually miss ABS-CBN that was shut down a week ago on an order of the National Telecommunications Commission. You know why? The rabid ABS-CBN fans still see TV Patrol nightly via ANC on YouTube, anchored by Kabayan Noli de Castro and Ted Failon.

With no commercials, how can ABS-CBN  survive as we gathered that it is bleeding some P35 million a day since it was shut down.

But it is a good thing that the House of Representative passed a measure granting ABS-CBN a provisional franchise that will last till October this year and the Senate is about to extend that for one year.

That will give Congress some time to review the TV station’s franchise that will last for 25 years.

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