What?? Mayor Brian has Covid?

By Leonardo Micua


MANY city residents were in disbelief with their mouths wide open when they heard reports that Mayor Brian Lim tested positive for COVID-19. They could not imagine how the hizzoner can still be infected when he already got his second dose of the Sinovac vaccine just few weeks ago.

Well, at least he was not the first mayor to have been infected by the virus. But he’s definitely the first mayor in the country who tested COVID-19 positive after he was already believed to have acquired some sort of immunity with his second dose of Sinovac.

Is it possible that he didn’t know that even if one has already completed his vaccination, there is still a need for caution, particularly, to strictly observe the standard health and distance protocols set by IATF?

In defense of the Sinovac, the same Chinese-made vaccine that I received when it was already my turn for the jab, it was hailed for its high efficacy rate as a COVID-19 vaccine in Indonesia, Turkey and in many other countries where it is now being widely used.

And also, time and again, officials of the Department of Health kept on saying that one anti-COVID-19 vaccine is as effective as the others.

So, it is most likely that the mayor may have relaxed his guard and became too complacent. Perhaps, he did not wear his mask or failed to maintain a safer distance from the COVID-19 positive person with whom he claimed he was exposed to.

As the mayor of Dagupan, there should have been no room for him to be complacent being the role model of his constituents.

This prompted one impulsive wag to ask: How could he have been infected when he was always protected by a tight cordon sanitaire, seldom leaves his office and is rarely seen moving around during this time of the pandemic to look into the condition of his constituents?

Indeed, why?  But, nonetheless, we wish the mayor a speedy recovery.

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Members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan entered into a sort of a modus vivendi with officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways that could hopefully pave the way for the resumption soon of the much-delayed road widening in Pangasinan.

Note that the road widening program was stopped in 2014 on account of a resolution passed by the provincial legislative body when it opposed the cutting of trees that lined up national highways in the province. Similar resolutions were also enacted by towns and cities where national highways run through.

Although road widening is a national law, the DPWH cannot do anything because protocol dictates that before a particular section of the highway could be widened, they need to secure certifications from towns and city mayors that they interpose no objection to the cutting of trees within their jurisdictions.

For this reason, DPWH district engineer had to apply for permits to cut trees from the DENR.

Decade-old trees need to be cut because these are encroaching on the standard 20-meter wide road. Earth-balling was suggested by the SP but the DENR cited their experience in Subic where all the decade-old trees that were earth-balled died.

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The Department of Health just reported that although COVID-19 cases are now on a downtrend in the National Capital Region plus bubble, it is now the adjacent provinces nearby that need to be placed under closer watch because of their recent spiraling cases.

We are glad that Pangasinan is not along the path of the supposedly fourth wave of COVID-19 burst. As shown in recent monitoring of the Provincial Health Office, there is a sudden drop in the number of active COVID-19 cases in the province owing to the bigger number of patients recovering compared to the new confirmed cases being reported.

Given this improved situation, it is a puzzle why the inter-regional bus operations from Pangasinan to the Northern Luzon Expressway Terminal in Bocaue, Bulacan and vice versa have not yet started despite the endorsement of Governor Amado Espino III to the applications of the different bus companies.

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