TO GET out of this hole that we call the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, Cebu and the rest of Central Visayas will have to vaccinate nearly five million individuals, which account for 70 percent of the region’s total population of more than seven million. Or thereabouts.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) 7 revealed that a total of 67,823 residents in the region have so far been fully vaccinated while another 111,912 are waiting for their second dose.

I know the region has a long way to go before it can achieve herd immunity. The important thing is the vaccine rollout has begun.

It reminds me of a Chinese proverb, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

There’s no point in delving into the fact that the delivery of vaccines has been intermittent, which has forced local government units to temporarily suspend their vaccination programs while they wait for the new batch to arrive.

Because the real problem is convincing the majority of those eligible for vaccination to get the jab. I remember the DOH 7 had said that only three out of 10 were willing to be vaccinated. Please correct me if my figures are wrong. I tried to search the numbers but couldn’t find them on the internet, but I know I read it somewhere.

At any rate, the solution to the Covid problem is at hand. It is an uphill climb, but as long as we continue to practice minimum health standards, we will get on top of this health crisis. Eventually.

I don’t know if the same can be said about the Bus Rapid Transit project in Cebu, which continues to languish on the drawing board.

I don’t blame Cebu City Councilor James Anthony Cuenco, chairman of the transportation committee, for feeling exasperated.

“Di na lang gyud ko mo-expect ani nga mahuman ni og December,” he said on May 12, 2021, referring to the first phase of the project.

Back then, the councilor learned that there were still processes that the Department of Transportation (DOTr) had targeted to complete within the month of May to get the project going, like getting Neda’s approval so the Department of Budget and Management would release funding.

On Sunday, May 30, Cuenco revealed that the DOTr had failed to accomplish this or any of its other targets. He can’t say why since he is not privy to the inner workings of the agency.

But let’s look at the bright side. At least, one agency is doing something right. To expect both the DOH and the DOTr to do what they’re set out to do is short of a miracle.