Briones: Transitioning

On the go

LOCAL government units had until Wednesday, May 13, 2020, to appeal their classification before the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases screening and validation committee.

That means the mayors of the cities of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu, Jonas Cortes and Junard Chan, respectively, must have already forwarded their defiance – yes, it’s called “defiance” when you oppose an order from a superior – to the powers that be.

As for Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella, I have no idea why he signed the joint statement the other day. The Palace did not lift the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the city, just “modified” it.

As for residents of the cities of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu, the downgrading of the ECQ to a general community quarantine (GCQ) doesn’t mean they can resume their old habits.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made it clear during a virtual press conference Tuesday, May 12, that areas in the country that will be placed in GCQ starting Saturday, May 16, will still be in community quarantine.

Movements will still be restricted.

Actually, I agree with the three mayors, but they should have been straight to the point like local businessman Steven Yu, who said “the tri-cities should move as one, for the same reason that NCR (National Capital Region) is being categorized as one (due to inter-connection of economies and contiguous land areas).”

It’s just that I literally cringed when I heard them say they would not risk starting up the economy at the expense of the health and safety of the people.

If they had done a better job at containing the spread of the highly infectious coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), we wouldn’t be in this predicament, would we?

The three men could have handed the reins of control to the governor at the onset so the whole island would have a uniform policy in combatting Covid-19, but the cities of Cebu and Lapu-Lapu are not under the Province. As for Mandaue City, maybe we should ask the mayor’s executive secretary why his boss issued his own executive orders.

Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia made some unpopular moves early on and was criticized and even bashed on social media, but she remained firm.

She asked over three million people who look up to her as their leader to sacrifice a lot. And they did. Many have been stuck in their towns for the last 40 days without jobs.

And now their patience and their sacrifice will be rewarded as the Province prepares to transition.

It’s about time.


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