For almost two months now that we have been placed under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ), only a handful of businesses, mostly small and medium enterprises, have reopened and even so they are not in full operations. The majority is still closed.
The Covid-scare and the apparent scare hysteria waved by the government and some private circles, the curfew hours, and the increasing local cases of Covid is sending a chill to the people and even officials of the local government units.
With these conditions, plus the businesses' dwindling operating capital, business activities are generally dying.
Malls are almost empty while the convenience stores, shops and markets are getting fewer consumers. Night clubs and bars who have been allowed to operate on a fifty percent capacity and with limited hours can hardly pull off sales. Mobile food deliveries are also dwindling due to consumers limited purchasing power.
Government construction projects are not moving as they used to be. The same for private real estate developers and constructions. Contractors complain of super delayed payments. Suppliers from Manila and even importers won't dare give much to their clients this time.
What else is moving? Practically only the small bagsakan markets, small food shops, roadside eateries, general merchandising, vulcanizing and repair shops.
I already expected this, and my forecast is, the worst is yet to come, now and until early 2022. But my greatest question is, what is the local government doing, or capable of doing? What do they intend to do to help the citizens cope with the crisis?
I tried to send thoughts, unsolicited advice, and social media overtures to the local government. Unfortunately, I get no response. I was able to talk with officials, but they gave unclear responses, only conjectures and mixed emotions.
I really find this situation quite bad that a number of local government units, especially Bacolod City, seem inutile in dealing with the growing joblessness, hunger and dangerous social behaviors of people, or of what and how to respond to people's clamor for support services, and even simple sensitivity and care.
It is even despicable to know, see and hear that the local government and other national agencies are more busy scaring and harassing people, especially the so-called quarantine violators, instead of easing their agonies and sufferings.
What we are getting now is not only the Covid crisis but a worsening crisis of governance, and I fear it is nearing a breakdown. God forbid, when that comes, more chaos and uprising will ensue.
Who is going to benefit from this scenario? Who would be the collateral in the altar of destruction?