Monday, October 25, 2021

Ombion: Vaccination and economic assistance


FROM official reports and regular video footage on social media, it is no doubt that Bacolod City is leading the anti-Covid-19 vaccination campaign, at least in highly urbanized and component cities outside of the National Capital Region (NCR).

The City Inter-Agency Task Force and Emergency Operations Center’s widespread and 24/7 campaign has also attracted non-Bacolod residents to flock in numbers to the city to get vaccinated.

This is a highly meritorious move of the City Government that should be emulated by other local government units (LGUs).

To date, except for some reported cases of death and side effects from vaccination or other factors which send some apprehensions among some quarters though no solid evidence to the contrary, the prevailing general feeling is that vaccinated people are more secured now when going around the city or province, and those not yet vaccinated are rushing up to vaccination centers that is now well decentralized and 24/7 for easy access anytime.

But healthy action would be doubly and sustainably beneficial if it is accompanied by economic assistance, especially for the most vulnerable basic sectors.

The basic sectors of the city, the displaced workers, out of job overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families, the hand to mouth vendors and public utility jeepney drivers, jobless women, artists, customers, service workers and youth, seniors and persons with disabilities (PWDs), are still crying out loud for quick assistance and support for sustainable project enterprises.

The City Government has already started on this and vowed to reach out to more vulnerable sectors.

It is also undertaking initiatives at assisting the most affected basic sectors like the labor organizations, farmers and fishers’ cooperatives and associations, among others, in establishing their livelihood projects or micro-social enterprises for their overall recovery and sustainability.

Other national government agencies, national and international development funding institutions have, in fact, been inviting LGUs, civil society organizations (CSOs) and people’s organizations (POs) to submit project proposals for the said purpose. I am glad that the City Government has given this special focus.

On the other hand, I would likewise challenge, encourage private foundations, real estate developers, banking and semi-financial institutions, microfinance companies, Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry and dozens more with extra funds to complement the efforts of the City Government.

To those who can’t give more, at least take care of your workers or employees who have been displaced or forced jobless. I heard of reports that some local companies and business establishments that have shut down or folded up temporarily or whatever have turned deaf and blind to their laborers’ woes.

In such cases, I would challenge the local Department of Labor and Employment to intervene.

There is always the saying that with more heads and hands bonded, many impossible things could be achieved, more lives would be saved. All this should be done not in competition, not to outplay each other politically, but for the most basic safety and welfare of the vulnerable groups.

As we approach the electoral season, it is a common thing that some vested interest groups and persons would take up on any issue under the sun so to speak just to promote themselves and hit their targets. They appear to be issues advocates or advocates of public interests when they are political partisans or simply racketeers.

There are situations where legitimate and right issues are being hyped by certain groups or persons for vested political interests. There are also vested political partisans who are fond of making a mountain out of a molehill, or who hype so loudly albeit wrongly on socially insignificant issues.

This is where people, especially organized groups, media institutions and figures, must take some diligence in issues analysis and background check on so-called advocacy groups or persons before giving their affirmation, commitment or support to issues and the advocates.

I suggest that groups take time to study collectively basic philosophy, especially a subject we call logic, or the science of correct thinking and reasoning. There are rules and structures that govern it. Once you master it and its applications in different contexts, you can easily detect the wrong from right.

Vaccination and economic assistance form parts of logical action for the safety and welfare of the people. Don’t confuse it with something else, it may lead you to emptiness.

Just a perspective. Kudos to the City Government and all those with compassion for people’s safety and well-being.


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