Politicking in the time of a pandemic is the last thing we should do. After President Rodrigo Duterte’s press conference last Thursday, the yellows have been hard at work 24/7, finding every mistake seemingly committed by your government officials, sensationalizing miscommunication between and among government officials, putting a bad spin on each achievement, and causing more panic and chaos to an already difficult situation for our countrymen. We are in uncharted waters. We cannot afford rowdy and skeptical passengers. Better for them to jump ship and bring their hypocrisy somewhere else.
The Internet now is filled with naysayers, all of them come from the yellow breed. In these trying times, it is better to shut up if you do not have anything valuable to contribute. If the yellows want to walk the talk, then they are better off in the frontline at our government hospitals and employees of the Department of Health (DoH), instead of being busy at home, typing away their Facebook entries and Tweets on their phones while watching Netflix.
First of all, do not listen with how they criticize the delivery of the President’s address to the nation last Thursday. Do they actually think that former President PNoy Aquino would have done a better job? The only thing he would have done is pass the buck to Mar Roxas, who in turn would have made an assist to a team of government lackeys, so he could focus better on how to make a profit and make himself look good in this issue. Does everybody recall what happened with “Yolanda”?
Placing Metro Manila in community quarantine is an utmost necessity. Those who fail to understand this are ignorant of what has been going on worldwide. We cannot reach the pandemic scales of Wuhan, China and Italy since we are ill-equipped with proper medical facilities. The entire Metro Manila population is around 14 million. It is a place where, in a working day, personal space is nearly inexistent, especially for commuters who pour into the streets daily.
It becomes tricky for the authorities on how it will manage the influx of vehicles into Metro Manila today, the first day of the workweek. There are countless entry points from the Greater Metro Manila, e.g. Cavite, Rizal and Bulacan. Yesterday, the authorities were closely watched by the yellows online on how it is seemingly failing to impose a total lockdown in Metro Manila. We would like to see them try do it by themselves. Let us arm these dilawans with thermal scanners and ask them to man the checkpoints.
As for the call for a curfew between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., again this is meant to lessen the people loitering in the streets and allow the government to achieve their purpose of keeping people inside their houses. The local government units (LGU) in Metro Manila, one by one, have been convening their councils to promulgate local legislation on the curfew to align its efforts alongside that of the national government.
We can see how other countries have been dealing with COVID-19. Looking at it, we need help in the initial phase of treatment, which is timely and accurate detection. The Philippines is among the last to have a surge in infected individuals, but this may be attributed to the lack of testing kits and facilities. Budget has to immediately be approved for this.
It is a difficult time for our public officials. It appears that every minute, a new statistic adds on to a list that we pray would stop increasing. We see more people infected and more deaths caused by COVID-19. The news changes drastically by the hour, putting the entire nation on its toes, in frantic anticipation on what may come next. For instance, what is written in today’s paper instantly becomes yesteryear’s news in a matter of a few hours. Consequently, authorities must work triple time and should have the support of the private sector.
The problem is so severe that it takes a whole-of-government, or rather, a whole-of-nation approach. Let us cross party- and political-lines, work together for a common goal of defeating COVID-19, stopping its further spread, and giving aid to those infected so they may timely recover. It is time for the entire country to trust our government, not to widen its cracks. To end, let us get each other’s commitment to throw our support behind President Duterte and this administration. This is a tough test for us, but we shall overcome.