Random Thoughts

No revolution plans by frontliners

By Leonardo Micua

WE understand the angst and frustration of our already exhausted health care workers over the continuing spike of COVID-19 cases in many areas which they blame chiefly to the failure of our local authorities to enforce strictly the health protocols in their areas.

But their call for a time-out in the midst of the pandemic was certainly unwelcome.  Did they mean that they would let the sick simply fend for themselves in isolation rooms of hospitals and designated quarantine facilities while they rest?

The health care workers are easily the unsung heroes of today’s pandemic. Many doctors and nurses have already died fighting the unseen enemy.

Alarmed by their threat of a time-out, President Duterte immediately responded and placed the National Capital Region, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna and Bulacan under a Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine status from August 4 to 18. Additionally, the needs of the health care workers, i.e., life insurance, social benefits, food allowances, shuttle buses, housing, their personal protection equipment and their other essential things were addressed.

The MECQ was ordered to slow down the infection and decongest hospitals. (At Kapamilya Channel on YouTube, COVID-19 patients are being accommodated in closed tents at the parking lot of a government hospital in order to accommodate more cases).  This is not an exaggeration. Hospitals in the national capital region have already over-exceeded their normal capacities and have threatened to close their doors to new coronavirus disease cases.

The overcrowding of hospitals and the need to hire more health care workers to relieve the overworked workers, should also be looked into more closely by IATF.

No, our weary health workers’ petition should not be construed to mean as if they are mounting a revolution. They voiced out their legitimate gripes hoping that something can be done fast before they are completely overwhelmed by COVID-19.

That is why, the LGUs in areas under MECQ, need to enforce home quarantine more strictly if they want to slow down the cases and minimize the health care workers’ risks.

Of course, MECQ will hurt the economy again. Some establishments that were already reopened need to close and send their workers home again. It is not farfetched that jeepney drivers will again be seen begging for money to buy food.

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We can say we are luckier in Pangasinan than those living in NCR and the rest of areas downgraded back to MECQ because the situation is more relaxed here.

Many establishments have already reopened and a number of PUJs, tricycles are already running in the streets.  And, the ratio of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases to recovered cases over a certain period are already about equal and, therefore, an assurance that there will be no downgrade of our status.

We can also expect a drastic reduction of new confirmed cases if only more Metro Manilans strictly observe quarantine regulations. Note that it was the locally stranded individuals from Manila that transmitted the virus to us in Pangasinan.

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I’d love to see ABS-CBN to continue airing that’s why I personally sympathize with our media colleagues seeking all remedies to have the media giant back.

But what can we do? The committee on legislative franchise of Congress finally closed the possibility for a comeback months after it was ordered close by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) for operating without a franchise.

This was the second closure of ABS-CBN. The first was during martial law when the company and its assets were taken over by the government.

It was the late Information Minister Greg Cendana who was tasked to administer the facilities of ABS-CBN. It was he who placed the then Channel 4, Bureau of Broadcasts and the PNA at the building of ABS-CBN in Quezon City, and who ordered BB Dagupan then under Alex Duque and PNA to hold office at the ABS-CBN on A.B. Fernandez Avenue.

As a matter of fact, I recall that it was Alex’s staff who planted a row of narra trees now robustly growing near the perimeter fence of the facility. At the premises, PNA had a satellite disc installed by Globe MacKay that linked us to our headquarters in Quezon City, Cebu and Davao.

If my memory serves me right, we were there from 1984 up to 1995 or about eight years more after the EDSA People Power Revolution.

That’s why ABS-CBN also means a lot to me.

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