DAVAO

Editorial: True colors of gov’t officials

ONE interesting thing the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) is unraveling for us to see is how our government officials are reacting to what is happening around them.

We can see clear as day the competence of some and incompetence of others. Covid-19 showed who the leaders are in the country and who is not.

There are several local government unit officials who have shown how good leadership plays a key role in ensuring public safety.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas, Marikina City Mayor Marcelino Teodoro, Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian, and Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto are among the local officials who have made a mark on how to properly manage health crisis like this. Despite the country experiencing a health crisis at this scale, these elected officials have reportedly been implementing measures that are helping prevent the spread of the disease and at the same time taking care of the well-being of its people.

The list would be quite long to enumerate their good practices but a quick search on Google, you will find the good practices and measures they are implementing. Their leadership may not be perfect but during this time of crisis, they have risen to the occasion to serve the community who elected them.

Sadly, while these government officials were leading to ensure the safety of their community, some have chosen to be a headache to the nation and to the people working in the frontlines.

One of those who made the headlines is Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, who visited Makati Medical Center despite strict home quarantine protocols. The senator has tested positive for Covid-19.

The hospital management berated the senator for his actions.

“He violated his home quarantine, exposed health workers to possible infection, and therefore, to me, that is reckless and unacceptable,” Makati Medical Center Medical Director Saturnino Javier said in an interview on CNN Philippines’ News Night.

What makes this situation sadder and frustrating is the government’s lack of proper action on what Pimentel did. The government said it will look into it but as of now, no action has been done.

During this time of crisis, if the government says no one is above the law, then no one is above the law.

Aside from Pimentel, we also saw how some barangay officials are using this health crisis to fuel their corrupt practices. We have read and heard news reports of barangay captains in other areas asking for cash from their constituents in exchange for quarantine passes or rationed goods.

It is amusing to see how the Covid-19 pandemic is bringing out the worst in some of our government officials and politicians. Once the pandemic ends, remember the government officials and politicians who have done well in the community they serve. As for those who have shown incompetence, they are best forgotten.


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