By December 7, 2020Opinion, Punchline

Good news is bad news

By Ermin Garcia Jr.


IS the good news about status of COVID-19 contagion in Pangasinan, being on the decline, actually bad news??

That appears to be so when we look around and observe the behavior of people in the barangays. Residents are starting to move around without face masks and shields, and when they do, the face masks are worn under the chins, and the shields are worn on the heads, not on the face.

Everyone seems to be too overly comfortable with their neighbors, like they cannot ever be suspected of being carriers! Tsk-tsk. Delikado yan! 

We cannot but stress more than ever for the need to be overly cautious at this time. We have long been warned of the second wave of COVID-19 infection but it seems no one is giving that warning any thought. (Perhaps, understandably so, because it hasn’t happened).

But we should all be worrying today about who among our friends and relatives could be infected by the second wave because there is still no tested protocol to contain that pandemic. All the news about increasing number of patients recovering are based on at least six months of trial-and-error treatment.

Can we afford to wait for the new protocol to survive the second wave? Will the upcoming vaccine provide enough protection since the tests were made on the first wave of contagion?

Again, the new vaccine is not likely going to increase our protection. Know that many parents have lost confidence in vaccines due to the publicity about Dengvaxia. How many will trust their lives to the new vaccine?

Get my drift?

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LUCKY BAYAMBANG YOUTHS. The news about the community-based tutorial hub in English, Math and Science in Bayambang was met with applause generally by netizens.  

It did not evoke suspicions or fears of mishandling that it could be a source of contagion. First of all, the students enrolled are in Grades 7 to 10. It means at their age bracket (12-15), the young ones can already discern lapses and violations of the health and distance protocols.  

Secondly, the local government officials understand that the responsibility is ultimately theirs, not the students. Just one misstep will lead to the closure of the hub… and endless shaming.  

I sure hope, more local governments will seek to duplicate the Bayambang program because it seeks to supplement the modules prepared by the teachers. For instance, proficiency in English language, already heralded as the global language, is what will open the doors for any student seeking employment in multinational companies. His or her ability to communicate in English with so much ease can already be certain that he’s in for the next stage – the interview to confirm one’s experience in the work field.  

This is where an applicant can impress interviewers with grasps of macro valuation of situations. A well-read applicant should know when it will become useful to cite figures on the business of the prospective employer.  

What can finally impress a company seeking new employees are the added values, the skills that can move the company faster because of one’s knowledge in science and technology. The applicant that can work on excel, web designs, etc. will surely be in the top 1% category most likely to be employed. 

Take it from Mayor Cezar Quiambao. He’s the hard-nosed corporate executive who knows who can be useful in any enterprise – only the one who knows his: English, Math and Science.  

You can’t get a better set of tips to get employed faster than anyone. To the Bayambang kids, count your blessings, and claim them!

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ACCOUNTABILITY MUST BE THE RULE. The rumor that possible lockdowns in Metro Manila in January when the high number of confirmed cases kick in is anything but productive. Any lockdown in the future will be counterproductive to efforts to restart the economy. It’s a course of action that should no longer be considered at any time in the future.

The option that was never tried or employed is adopting the principle of accountability. The barangay that reports more confirmed cases than ever, points to a kapitan who has not lifted a finger to strictly enforce the health and physical protocols. The kapitan should be hailed to the Tanodbayan for dereliction of duties and the suspension of the mayor for a period should be sought for failing to make the Kapitan proactive.

A strict kapitan will never be taken for granted so a compliant neighborhood can be expected. Show me a kapitan who drinks with the tanods regularly, and I’ll show you a kapitan who should be booted out.

And the mayor? Nothing can be more embarrassing than to be suspended over a Kapitan’s mischief or failure to protect his constituencies.

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SPEAKER VELASCO AND RULING COALITION. In case you have not noticed, there’s been an upheaval in the majority ruling coalition at the House of Representatives. 

Consider the following: First: House Speaker Allan Velasco made sure the President Duterte will seek to implement the term-sharing between him and then Speaker Alan Cayetano. Ignoring the request of PRRD to allow Cayetano to work on the 2021 budget, Velasco was keen on making the 2021 budget his legacy. Well, he surely made it his legacy with his version of dagdag-bawas in the allocation of district projects to the embarrassment of PRRD who remained quiet.     

Second, when the opportunity to ask Velasco to honor the gentleman’s agreement made before PRRD came, that not one of the appointments made by Cayetano for the ruling coalition will be changed. Within a week of his takeover, Velasco already made new appointments replacing those made by Cayetano. PRRD remained silent but the members of ruling coalition began to be restive.  

Third, even as PRRD made it obvious to all and sundry that he’s behind the passage of the Anti-Terrorism Law, Speaker Velasco made headlines by protecting the Makabayan Bloc against comments critical of the members of the bloc.  Again, PRRD kept his cool.    

Fourth, amidst all the denial of the Makabayan Bloc that overthrowing the government is not its agenda, PRRD minced no words when he tagged the members of the Makabayan Bloc as legal fronts of the CPP-NPA-NDF. Velasco was by himself. He dared not defend the Makabayan Bloc this time but PRRD’s next move was the coup de grace.  

PRRD asked Senate President Sotto for help to beat the hell out of the Makabayan. Velasco was not even asked to do half of what was asked of Sotto.  

It was clear to the ruling coalition that Velasco already lost the trust and confidence of PRRD.  

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Some personal notes:

  1. I’m not the least surprised by news that more PNP personnel assigned to checkpoints are getting infected. Check out the personnel inside tents and behind tables, they don’t wear face masks.
  2. The posting of selfies at the Quinto’s Bridge in Dagupan is finally losing its novelty. Instead, it has become a tambayan for gangs looking for persons to bully. Not good. More police detail should be assigned there.
  3.  We have a lot of motorcycle-riding cops in police stations. Curiously, I have not seen motorcycle cops flagging down slow-moving tricycles to take the outer lanes of the highway. Talagang pang-VIP escort lang sila?

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