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ECQ restrictions favor reelectionist politicians

03:59 AM August 03, 2021

Aspirants who will challenge incumbent politicians in May elections next year have only the month of September to organize his/her campaign and file a certificate of candidacy in October. This also goes for the other political positions all the way from the Presidency, VP, senators, governors and vice governors. Time is running out and one wonders how will a candidate mobilize his/her political lieutenants and supporters in these tight COVID-19 restrictions. What if an ECQ extension happens?

In Metro Manila, some mayors are already becoming unpopular because of their mismanagement of the basic pandemic nuances, including experiences on “ayuda”, lockdown policies, vaccination systems, hospitalization/medical assistance and city’s public services. But luckily for them, COVID-19 also disrupted plans of their opposition.

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To ensure each other’s advantage, the Metro Manila Council agreed to a “hard lockdown”. But people are not ignorant anymore. They know that in our fight to survive, our leaders tend to weaken our democracy. Some mayors respond in ways to serve their own political interests, often at the expense of “public health” and our basic freedoms.

As we go into lockdown this Friday, at least nine cities/towns have very high daily attack rate (ADAR) namely Pateros (26.01), Makati (21.36) , San Juan (18.87) , Malabon (15.89), Navotas (12.93) , Pasay (10.85), Las Pinas (10.49) , Pasig (10.13) and Muntinupa (10.05).

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High COVID-19 reproductive numbers like Pateros (2.74), Malabon (2.54) Navotas (2.25) San Juan (1.84),Makati (1.71) and Valenzuela (1.62) are making their constituents uneasy.

Honestly, our people are more worried and fearful today compared to March of last year.

Senators doing nothing on proposed Dept. of Disaster Resilience

Coming from typhoon-ravaged Eastern Visayas, I understand my kababayan Ormoc Rep. Lucy Torres Gomez’s elation when President Duterte pushed for the creation of the Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR) in his recent SONA.

Floodings and landslides happen every year in many areas around the country, brought about by almost annual southwest monsoon, LPAs, typhoons, and La Nina. The 1991 Ormoc Flash floods, the 2009 Ondoy floods of Metro Manila and Luzon and the 2013 Yolanda devastation of Tacloban City are grim reminders that we are indeed a disaster-prone country and a magnet for severe weather disturbances.

Cong. Lucy, chairwoman of the House committee on Disaster Resilience, filed House Bill 5989, which proposes the creation of the Department of Disaster Resilience, define its mandate, powers and functions, and appropriate funds for its operation. She has highlighted the importance of having a single agency and a clear system of responsibility for disaster preparedness and response in all levels of the government.

She is correct on pushing for DDR and many of our countrymen will benefit from this useful piece of legislation. This department should have been created a long time ago. There would have been less damages and losses had Congress earlier acted on it.

House Bill No. 5989 has been approved on third and final reading. It was transmitted to the Senate in September 2020 and has remained pending. I hope our senators do the honorable thing during this third regular session of the 18th Congress: Pass the bill on the proposed Department of Disaster Resilience. Let’s all have a fighting chance when disaster strikes.

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