UNCENSORED: Give us a break

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By Manuel L. Morato

We appeal to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) members who are expected to make an announcement on or before August 18 as to whether the present status we are in – the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) would be lifted to GCQ or General Community Quarantine or not.  We fully understand and follow their decisions for months up to now as the advisory group to the President. 

May we be allowed to contribute some suggestions to the IATF members?  We are not trying to intrude on their present powers, but we hope they are big enough to consider some suggestions for it seems we have been going on circles.

What I would like to suggest are some practical suggestions that the IATF group of advisers may consider.

It is a fact that many are saying that they cannot understand where we are headed to.  Medyo naman nahiling ng kaunting konsiderasyon ang ating mga kababayan; and I fully understand why.

Could the IATF reconsider that what they said during the imposition of the present MECQ that it would be lifted by August 18?  Many, if not all, look forward to it.  But what they are scared of is a last minute extension.  That truly disrupts the people’s plan, hoping for the day of a little liberalization, looking forward after a long wait just to be frustrated by a sudden change of a promised date of ending the MECQ – again.  Kung hindi naman ninyo mamasamain.  Hopefully it reaches the ears of the decision-makers.

On my part, how accurate are the figures given to us infected by the Coronavirus/Covid 19?  The count of alleged infected persons, daily, is not short of being amazing for there have been those who question the accuracy of the daily count of sick people.  Yes, there are always sick people all year round, but these days, we do not know exactly what they are sick of.

Assuming that the count is somewhat accurate, the tabulation of the daily victims is somewhat faster than the Smartmatic used in our past elections.  It’s supersonic, which leaves room for doubt.

Could the daily count of people found “positive” be accurate?  There must be a need to consider the so-called “margin of error” especially when the news has spread far and wide that even nurses in New York hospitals were told to simply fill in the blanks that the cause of death is “COVID 19.”  How convenient.  It could also be happening in many other countries as well, and for sure the Philippines is not far behind for we already have a track record of rigging every election we have had – except the tallying of now President Duterte whose votes were shaved off, while other candidates “successfully” added more than what they actually got.  In like manner, there must be some error in the counting of daily victims of COVID 19.  We can presume.

On my part, I would like to suggest, if I may be allowed, to honor the deadlines given by the IATF group as promised.  Follow the deadline given this time that the lifting of MECQ will be on August 18.  Do not disappoint the public.  Give us a break of even 3 days to 5 days; and if you have to extend the MECQ again, so be it.

But if the IATF feels that the number of cases is increasing, by all means, bring the MECQ back.  That would be easier for the public to understand for if indeed, truthfully, the number of COVID 19 is increasing, revert back to MECQ.  But who knows, within the break of 3 to 5 days, it may prove otherwise.  The number may decrease.  That too can happen.  At least you have proven to the people that your word can be trusted; and it will be easier for them to accept to revert to MECQ again.

Let’s try it.  Who knows the number might go down – so much the better.  But if it continues to rise, God willing not, the public will be able to accept.

The little break will truly be appreciated; and you know why?  I’ll tell you:

The extension of the MECQ without giving the people a break-even for 3 days is actually a big disappointment.  It will impart to the public that the IATF suffers from a guessing game.

On my part, I feel sorry for my employees, household helpers, and guards whose respective families are far from my place.  They are family men and not being able to see their children for a long period of time is too big a sacrifice for them to make.

Imagine for almost one month a married houseboy, cook, guards… are unable to visit their respective families… wife, children, widowed mother, etcetera… is very disconcerting.  The little break I am suggesting can go a long way for it is also giving me a chance to send some vitamins, alcohol and other things that can help their respective family stay well.  On the part of my employees, the short break means a lot to them.  They can bring money and provisions to their families, check how the children are doing as well their old widowed mothers, brothers and sisters.

Just think how it feels to be quarantined far from their own families.  The short break I am suggesting can go a long way.  It is a good break for them to endure another lockdown should it be imposed again.

I see to it that they are able to attend to their respective families.  My drivers bring them to their homes, leave them for a day or two and fetched when they text the day and time to be fetched.

This is a request for compassion to those separated from their families during the lockdown when there is no transportation and means to go home.  My household helps stay during the week but go home on weekends to their families before this pandemic happened.  They go on rotation.

That’s my point in raising up the little break and living up to the promised due date.  Who knows, it might just work for the better. 

Sorry IATF, it’s just an appeal for a little understanding, without imposing on you on your final decision.  Pero pagod na po ang mga tao sa urong-sulong.  Naghihirap na po ang karamihan.  No work, no pay.  Pero ang mga government officials, their pays continue.  No wonder some are so insensitive.  They are well secured one way or another.  On my part, I’ve not missed out on paying their salaries whether their report for work or not.  Tulong na lang po sa kanila yon.

On the part of my three sisters and myself, as most of you know, we’ve suffered from a decision of the Quezon City Council allowing two highrise buildings to rise in our residential area.  The first of its kind, without consultation.  We lost the ancestral home of our parents through illegal means.  Despite the cases we filed in court, the constructions continue as the owners now are in power.

We have reason to find some relief with the MECQ for the digging, the noisy construction fully stop.  What a relief for it truly hurts us seeing day in and day out the noise, the dust and the commotion we suffer from.

My family is willing to sacrifice for the others who are equally suffering.  However, the granting of 21 and 22 storey commercial buildings in a residential area solely on the ground of the Quezon City Council approval which favors one family is not right.      

For comments and suggestions email at mlmorato@yahoo.com

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