THE burning question for the city mayor in Bacolod and the city's Inter-Agency Task Force Group, should be why is Iloilo back to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), while Bacolod with all of Duterte's support is denigrated to general community quarantine (GCQ)? The two cities have their fair share of sudden surge of Covid-19 positive cases from returning locally stranded individuals. But why are we placed back to GCQ after all the lockdowns and many restrictions? Are the conditions in the city veering close to the edge, like Cebu that peaked high with the pandemic? With reported deaths of only 25 from Covid-19 as of August 31, is it enough justification for us to be under GCQ?

Last weekend, August 29-31, many Bacoleños were in virtual state of confusion. A close friend who facilitates feeding program for malnourished children from Banago and hapless elderlies at the Cathedral and downtown area, resorted to posting on Facebook on whether the announced lockdown is in place. That night, no distribution of warm cooked food packs was made for the homeless elderlies by the Cathedral and Rizal street. Majority of the city residents stayed still for the weekend, including business establishments just starting to make a go of their much-affected enterprises. Only a few resourceful, and well-connected Bacoleños got wind of the last-minute withdrawal of the lockdown order. But the announcement of the total lockdown has achieved an end, i.e., perpetuate fear.

For the likes of our corporation with ongoing construction, the announced lockdown brought our development project to a standstill -- the construction workers fearing the worst, went home to be with their families. In the city, four days of business operation were lost according to Frank Carbon, Chairman of Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce (MBCCI).

No work, no movement, no money. How much more can the working class take? Or the Pumuluyo, who are in a continuing state of "isang kahig, isa ka tuka."

What is disconcerting about the way our city and the IATF handled Covid-19 from its onset is that we do not have an accurate and clear reporting of its incidence, that is communicated clearly to the public.

An effective Mass Information Education Campaign (MIEC) is badly needed at this point. The city should take a more systematic and substantive information education campaign at various levels.