Together, with our all!
PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero-Ballescas (The Freeman) - March 21, 2020 - 12:00am

Who could have imagined a virus literally stopping the world? People are advised to stay home, lockdowns are observed, mobility is regulated. It’s definitely not business as usual throughout the world.

The virus continues to spread, resulting in problems for people and the world. The virus remains as the number one problem that has to be solved and contained.

When and how this destructive virus can be contained, tamed, and defeated needs not only everyone’s best efforts but everyone’s all, together!

The virus is attacking on all fronts- medical, economic, social, political, even spiritual. It’s borderless has spread to almost all countries of the world! It infects the young and most especially the elderly! Until now, it has stopped business, everyone, everything else, almost.

Certainly, this virus has so affected the world. What will the future hold given this present wild pandemic?

Tomorrow remains uncertain, appears bleak for now, but today is our problem. Now is everyone’s main concern. Everyone’s protection, safety, survival are top priorities now.

Locally and globally, people, groups, governments are responding on all fronts to ensure everyone’s protection and prayerfully, to contain and defeat this aggressive virus. Together, we need to meet the virus as well on all fronts, with our all, together! Let us learn from each other and share/exchange/work together to beat this virus!

Local government units are now in the limelight, sharing with all their varying response models and protocol. Will their efforts result in less cases, less number of infected, and hopefully, in successful containment of the virus? Will the present policy of social distancing, stay at home, lockdown, suspension and closure of institutions and establishments help contain the virus?

On the medical front, within and outside our country, the frantic search for containing, stopping the virus continues. Yesterday, the world welcomed the hopeful news that for the second day, there was no new case reported in Wuhan! Hopefully, this development will be sustained, with the world learning from Wuhan!

Testing, testing, testing is key, not only to determine and identify who are positive or not, where, when, how. The information obtained can provide more clarity about the virus and about the social context that allow the virus to thrive, infect or not. The test results can also guide policy towards more effective, protective response for all.

Let us all demand for more testing to be done, soonest, for all, if possible! There are now new test kits, cheaper and faster in producing results. Those who can afford to pay should so that those who cannot can be tested as well. Remember, we all have to beat this virus together, with our all!

Governments have to designate hospitals solely for COVID-19 patients so they can receive much-needed specialized care and so other non-COVID-19 patients can also be attended to in other hospitals.

We hope Cebu LGUs will prioritize, even fast-track the construction of a hospital or hospitals to accommodate the COVID-19 patients expected to increase in time. Funds allotted for waste-to-energy (WTE) facilities, road and other infra projects can be diverted to prioritize this present urgent need for hospitals! People first before roads, bridges, and WTEs!

If they are sincerely pro-Filipino, if they really want to protect our people, shouldn’t Du30 and his team rethink the huge P14B allocation of the proposed P27.1-billion for tourism? Why allot 51% more for tourism, not for our affected people?

People’s lives are priority, fighting this virus is urgently vital now so the P14B for tourism should be cancelled and diverted to buy more testing kits and as support for displaced workers, farmers, unemployed, and all affected especially among the vulnerable groups.

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