Random Thoughts

Only in Dagupan City

By Leonardo Micua


WE heard that the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Dagupan just passed another ordinance on curfew, this time fixing it at from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. This was the third ordinance passed by that august body in less than five months. The city government simply couldn’t make up its mind.

The SP and the city hall better make up their minds because the public in Dagupan, already burdened by too many restrictions imposed to during the Modified General Community Quarantine, is already confused.

Recall that the second of curfew ordinance was passed more than two month ago, effectively shortening the curfew hours by one hour from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. from the original 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew as provided for in Ordinance No. 2206-2020 passed by the SP on May 15.

Ordinance No. 2206-2020 only became effective after its publication in the September 6-12 issue of the Sunday Punch.  So we had a situation where an ordinance was amended a day after it became effective. Effective on September 7, amended by the SP on September 8!

The third ordinance passed by the SP that set the 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew will have to wait for its publication to become effective.

Imagine, amending an ordinance before it can become effective, Only in Dagupan, I supposed.

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The third curfew ordinance was endorsed by Mayor Brian Lim who wrote the SP on the need to shorten anew the curfew hours during the community quarantine, without inquiring if the two previous ordinances passed by the SP and signed by him were already enforced and in effect. 

This, he said, will allow longer hours and daily turnover of food establishments offering dine-in services as well as other businesses desiring to extend business hour “as means of mitigating if not reversing the current economic downturn brought about by the health emergency”. 

Clearly, this was made to accommodate the requests of restaurants, bars and even night clubs who need longer time to operate and serve their dine-in customers. We are all for a shortened curfew but we hope that such a move will not sacrifice the need for social distancing, otherwise COVID-19 positive cases will continue to soar in the city and province. 

But wasn’t the night club crowd that was being blamed for the resurgence of COVID-19 positive cases in South Korea, that led to lockdown of night spots for weeks? 

We recall that it was the ordinary workers on extended duty during the night who requested for a one-hour reduction of curfew hours in Dagupan, that moved the SP to approve a 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. from the original 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew. 

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A report by Agence France Presse datelined London, United Kingdom that the clinical trials of one of the most advanced experimental coronavirus disease 2019 vaccine were “paused” after one of the volunteers developed an unexplained illness, should be a great concern to us Filipinos especially because some of our countrymen will soon be participating in the clinical trial for a potential vaccine developed in Russia called Sputnik.

Halted was the clinical trial of a vaccine being developed by AstraZaneca and Oxford University. A spokesman of AstraZaneca said the voluntary pause was made to allow the review of safety data by an independent committee, adding that the routine action has to happen “whenever there is potentially unexplained illness in one of the trials”.

The company was also quoted in the AFP report that in large trials, illness will sometimes happen by chance but must be reviewed independently.

We are not saying that we should back out from our commitment to make some of our countrymen participate in the clinical trial for Sputnik vaccine just because of the recent development we read from UK. But we do not lose anything if we always exercise caution and restraint if any big nations ask us to participate in their clinical trials for their potential vaccines.

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