By Ermin Garcia Jr.
DAGUPAN Mayor Brian Lim already has nothing going for him except what the national government can download for the city, and I’m talking about the vaccines allocated to the city. Even the earlier press announcement that he was purchasing city’s own vaccines was nothing but a PR gimmick to impress his constituents. That “order” for “P10-M” of vaccines was “placed as early as December 2020,” so he claimed.
Believing perhaps the announcement will again be forgotten, Lim has refused to update the local media about its planned “400,000 vaccines”. The city government cannot even name the brand, or when the order was placed and when it expects to be delivered.
What I’m afraid Mr. Lim will resort to in months ahead is to cite a delivery from the national government as part of his “P10-M purchases” in the months ahead. With a small mind that can only hope to manipulate public funds for his loyal barkada, expect a grand announcement with the arrival of allocations from DOH-Region 1 while pocketing P10-M.
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LIM’S BARKADA DESERT HIM. See how hard he tried to convince city residents to be at the Tondaligan Beach last Black Saturday and Easter Sunday to drum up support for the vendors at the beach who obviously promised him and his barkada a share a percentage of sales? It totally bombed out in his face.
Why he actually thought he would be listened to by residents when other mayors pooh-poohed his strategy? What I thought was funnier was when his own barkada stayed away on those two days, not even to buy two sticks of barbeque for the vendors who had to advance their promised share of the promised revenues.
His dismal leadership for petty rackets is having a serious toll on whatever is left in his term of office. Nonetheless, he should still count his blessings that the sudden surge over the week is not being attributed to his stupid call to patronize vendors – because nobody showed up!
City residents would already be demanding for his head if some 200 still showed up at the Tondaligan.
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THE PERFECT PROTECTION RACKET FOR HOSPITALS. But here’s the cruelest hit on him yet in the weeks ahead.
While Lim could not be accused of being responsible for the surge in the city, Lim will surely be made to account for the surge in cases all because the positive cases that were admitted in violation of the IATF rule on admitting cases from outside the province. These are patently illegal and unauthorized without explicit approval from the local IATF – meaning Mr. Lim.
In fact, if the hospitals cannot show any official communication from the IATF, the local hospitals are in trouble. It is they who will be made responsible for the spike with no possible contact-tracing, since these cases were from out of town. What a perfect opportunity for protective racketeering.
Mr. Lim can choose to be the heel by denying he had anything to do with the illegal admission of cases from NCR+ while protecting the guilty, or play the hero by directing the hospitals to strictly comply with the IATF policy.
But then again, his reputation as a protector of petty racketeering in the city for his barkada, like the endless illegal occupation of sidewalks by his “baratilyo” company, already precedes him. For petty protection racketeering, that would not be too difficult for Mr. Lim to do for his barkada… and himself, of course.
So, what can likely happen here? He will protect the hospitals that violated the protocol, at the same time, keep mouths of members of the local IATF zipped and let the whole thing blow over.
A percentage of PhilHealth charges would certainly come in handy. As usual, it’s how his racketeering mechanics work. There’s got to something in it for the barkada.
Neat, huh? Sure, that can happen except that in this case, the stench of the abuse committed to keep NCR+ positive cases going for petty protection cannot be kept under wraps by members of the local IATF themselves whose integrity was unfairly used by the barkada for the cover-up.
Perhaps, my revered fellow journalists would dare ask Mr. Lim the following: 1) Did you authorize the illegal admissions? If so, how many, and in which hospitals? 2) What safeguards have you imposed on the hospitals since contact-tracing is practically nil? 3) Are you accepting responsibility for the expected surge on account of the illegal admissions?
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INUTILTY OF DILG. For all intents and purposes, all towns and cities are on their own to protect their communities.
The DILG can no longer be relied upon to strictly enforce the health protocols. It has become completely inutile even with its vaunted powers, authority and mandate. It appears even the LGU directors have become sheer gofers for the mayors.
With no effective contact-tracing in place originally launched by DILG, the only preventive measure that can be employed is to detain whoever is caught not wearing masks properly, including children allowed by parents to wander around with out masks.
All persons without masks in the streets should be considered as potential COVID carriers.
The mayor and kap who strictly enforces the protocol can only be seen as the only local officials who care for the plight of others in their communities.
The efforts of Sual and Bani towns to keep the contagion in check, decided to go further than what the provincial government was prepared to do under the circumstances.
Requiring travel documents and result of PCR tests that shows validity for 3 days puts the hearts of the mayors in the right places.
But if I may add, they should consider strictly enforcing no mask-no entry in and around the towns. The lip service about it for too longs has made potential carriers’ free movements to infect others.
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