Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Delivering Stories of Progress



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Okada Manila
Hotel Okura Manila
The Manor at Camp John Hay
Novotel Manila
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By Atty. Howie Calleja

Reverting back to MECQ is a clear indication that we are losing in the battle against this pandemic. Over the past month, the number of cases has consistently increased and our government’s pandemic control strategy has miserably failed.

While the president appeared to have listened to the medical frontliners, he clearly did not understand their message. The call for a “time out” by our frontliners is for the benefit of the entire country, giving us another opportunity to do more than wait for things to get better. We can restrategize, regroup, adjust, and pursue decisive actions that will help us in the ongoing battle against COVID-19. Instead, the time out we got seems to be another militaristic effort by our leaders, coupled with a spit in the face of our hardworking frontliners.

After highlighting areas for improvement, and the need for a more medical-based response, there was only a begrudged desultory acceptance and a declaration that to call out our country’s problems is to demean our leaders. What’s worse is that the attempt to show the true picture of our health crisis was countered by threats and labeled as an attempt to overthrow the government.

A bruised ego is not a reason to label someone as a revolutionary. Haven’t we seen enough of this? Anyone who is not a “yes man” is attacked: those who do not support the Anti-Terrorist Act are terrorists; those who propose new plans of actions are attempting to overthrow the government. Deflection and attempt to undermine the opposition have become key characteristics of our government’s leadership. Indeed we need a TIME OUT – a time out on all wars that are not against COVID. We must come together and focus on our main strategy and address the issues of our health sector, so that we can begin to heal this country.

This time out must go beyond a reversion to MECQ:

Time out on the lies now is the time for real data.
Time out on threats now is the time for compassion.
Time out on unfulfilled promises now is the time for social amelioration.
Time out on reliance on China now is the time to be proactive in saving a struggling healthcare system.
Time out on blaming our healthcare workers and turning the people against each other now is the time to recognize their poor working conditions and ensure that they are well-equipped and prepared to continue this fight.

Time out for the incessant “P***** INA!” It’s time now to heal the Philippines. We have to move toward what is best for the country. Cure the sick, feed the hungry, jobs to our people and punish the corrupt and incompetent. If we don’t win as one, then maybe it’s time to tell this administration that their time is up!

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