The United Nations and the World Bank (WB) already gave the world a depressing scenario after this COVID-19 pandemic passes..eventually. Like all other global phenomenon, this too shall pass. How it changes things is what worries people. The widespread fear mongering undertaken by several governments in their own people have resulted to either success in terms of raking in billions worth of public monies out of the public coffers or pure chaos, as what’s happening in several countries, and surprisingly, even in the United States. Whatever effects this pandemic will cause economies will just be a matter of speculation.
This pandemic is like a monkey wrench thrown in a political situation. Worse, you can’t figure heads or tails with it. Why? Because of the narrative– it is entirely scientific, not political. You really can’t say that government actions that affect civil liberties are entirely political actions because some would argue that lockdowns and checkpoints are part of containment protocols.
But lockdowns and checkpoints are indeed, political actions. Governments are the ones who decide whether to lock down an area or not. But of course, we, ordinary mortals expect these political decisions to be based on science. It is unfortunately, not.
In the Philippines, decisions on quarantines rest on the top man in Malacanan. It’s always base on his political agenda. One main example is when he decided to still place the entire Metropolitan Manila area under general community quarantine, a creature which you could only find in the Philippines (just like “salvaging” and “EJKs”).
It’s very confusing differentiating what a general community quarantine really looks like and what a modified community quarantine is because both involve preventing human movement thru the use of checkpoints and barangay based lockdowns. They are really lockdowns but in varying degrees which is really, very confusing. Whether you are at gcq or MCQ’s does not really matter because even if you could go out of your house, you can’t go anywhere without your own car. No public transportation available. The president allowed companies to operate but without the workforce, what’s the use of opening up your business. The Philippine government says businesses must provide their own transportation which is fine, but tell it to a small business owner and see how he reacts?
It’s alright for citizens to sacrifice their own personal conveniences, but the thing is, the government shows a dismal picture of infections still rising. Government is blaming everybody except itself. They’re trying to picture Filipinos as an undisciplined lot when the fact is, government hasn’t even begun large scale testing, isolating, and treating those infected.
Ask Philippine authorities who’s Victim Zero and you get no answer. They really did not do any contract tracing which is the first step in containing this pandemic. Without this preliminary data, everything now is suspect. How did we arrive at this figure of infestations? When the patient already reported having symptoms and is now being treated in the hospital.
Government should have done its end of the bargain. Government was very very adamant in allowing the passage of the emergency law and when they got the funds already, they stopped nagging, like how a highly satisfied boy given his candies. People expected to be tested yet nothing. Government promised billions of pesos worth of manna and got absolutely nothing. And government had the gall of telling people hey we still are popular with the people. Yeah. Right.
Many businessmen are ready to raise their hands up. Many however see opportunities. Many fear the backlash which often happens when shit like these happens. Whatever the future holds one thing is certain—- this mismanagement has further weakened the Philippine state, not just economically, but socially.
The question really is— what would the Filipino People do about it? Seems like there is no hope in sight.
Duterte boasts of having complete control of the military and the police. The media is so compromised already, most are under the spell of Mr. Duterte’s minions. Members of Congress are mostly puppies following their Master and businessmen—do you expect them to be idealists? Most are realists and most are following not the dictates of their consciences but of their bottom-lines.
Like everything that happens in Philippine history, the people will again be the ones who’ll shoulder the damages wrought by this administration. After this pandemic, they will find their health care providers without enough cash to support them in their medical needs. Retirees would find it extremely difficult to get another pension from the state fund and government projects in near desperation of resuscitation. What would happen is more of regurgitation that salvation.
Whose fault is it? Surely not the people but probably the intelligentsia class whose members allow this travesty to befall this beautiful and great Nation. They have sacrificed their conscience for the Mammon whose destructive and malevolent actions further deepened the rut that the next generation would find themselves in. And this present generation simply don’t care about the future because the present already sucks.