Random Thoughts

Brian’s new E.O. not good enough

By Leonardo Micua

 

ON January 4, Mayor Brian Lim did not lose time in issuing an executive order reimposing the liquor ban and restoring the 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. curfew in a bid to slow down the increasing number of active COVID-19 cases in Dagupan: 184 cases as of this writing.

Though it was a knee-jerk reaction to steamroll the sudden spike of COVID-19 cases after the holidays,  perhaps it’s better late than never. But had he done it earlier, methinks, it would not have only helped arrest the rising tide of COVID-19 cases in the city but would
have earned him more “pogi” points in the eyes of his constituents.

Early on, many already thought that lifting the liquor ban and relaxing the curfew hour were a virtual license for them to stay inside newly re-opened beer houses and resto bars up to midnight and drink to their delight. After all, when in nocturnal places such as bars and beer houses, many things can happen, including violating the all-important social distancing protocol.

But Brian should not rest with just reimposing the ban and extending the curfew hours if he honestly wants to bring down the active COVID-19 cases. He has to get out from the confines of city hall and see how his constituents are mindlessly crowding public markets
without regard to physical distancing while some children run around without face masks.

Even the baratillo, a nest for violating distance protocol, that was supposed to end on December 31 is staying put because the baratillo stall owners have petitioned for an extension. Why? Because their sales were not so good during the past holidays. Well, it seems Brian will give in to their request.

Maybe it has not occurred to him that some if not most  of the infections were coming from the markets and of course the baratillo stalls along Galvan Street and on the sidewalk of A.B. Fernandez Avenue fronting CSI Market Square.

Hizzoner may have a short memory if he cannot recall that it was in the Magsaysay Fish Market where the first COVID-19 cases were initially detected – among the vendors who interacted with truck drivers and their helpers delivering fish from Bulacan, one of the
provinces having among the highest COVID-19 cases in the country.

The same situation may have likely happened during the holidays when huge stocks of fruits and goods for the baratillo were delivered by infected traders from Metro Manila.

Relate this to the observation of Dr. Anna de Guzman, provincial health officer, who said on television that the spike of COVID-19 cases may have been brought into the markets by Authorized Persons Outside of Residence (APORs), meaning traders from outside
Pangasinan.

In the meantime, no one knows how Dagupan authorities are responding to the new wave of COVID-19 infection in the city. We still have yet to hear from the Public Information Office if the city will lock down communities and or neighborhoods where COVID-19  positive persons were found.

We got a phone call from someone from Pantal  that family members in their neighborhood were found positive for COVID-19 and brought to an isolation facility. I asked if the authorities have cordoned off the neighborhood and he said “NO”.  But to be safe, he said, they are voluntarily quarantining themselves in their home.

In our own barangay Bonuan Gueset, I read from the infographics released by Dagupan PIO that we have 13 active  cases so far and we are anxious to know where these are located. But Pantal  has more and is on top with 17 positive cases.

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Someone overheard that in his exasperation, Barangay Captain Edgardo Fontelera of Dasol chastised Vice Governor Mark Lambino  as having no balls when he did not object at all to the recognition of Jinky Zaplan as newly elected president of the Liga ng Barangay provincial chapter.

He vented his anger shortly after he called a press conference where he slammed the election of Zaplan, consistent with his claim that the election was a futile exercise as there was no vacancy in the Liga provincial chapter anymore that needed to be filled since he already succeeded as the president.

Fontelera also filed a case of violation of anti-corrupt practices act against National Liga president Eden Chua Pineda “for neglecting and refusing, after due request, and without sufficient justification, to act within a reasonable time on all my requests which are pending before her office in order to give undue advantage in favor of the other interested parties.”

 

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