The government declared the first round of the National Covid-19 Vaccination Days from Monday, Nov. 29 until today, Dec. 1 as special working days as part of its effort to inoculate 70 percent of the target population, or about 54 million Filipinos by the end of this month. This effort is so timely because of the threat of the Omicron variant recently discovered in South Africa.
The government’s massive vaccination drive in all 17 regions is unprecedented. I wish the critics of the administration should not use this three-day vaccination campaign as their springboard for discussion of the flaws of Duterte’s administration just because the May 9, 2022 polls are only a few months away. Instead, we should be grateful that the Duterte administration is serious in its efforts to protect our health from this deadly virus.
On another hand, I find it funny that some of the people who received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine during the nationwide vaccination drive were more concerned that their social life, like going to malls and joining group activities, would be disrupted if they remain unvaccinated. It seems to me that they got their jabs not to primarily protect their precious life. A woman interviewed by a TV network’s news team said not being barred from entering malls was her foremost reason why she decided to get a vaccine shot.
Speaking of malls, I’m so concerned that some malls do not strictly enforce the requirement that only those vaccinated patrons can go inside. Some customers are also overconfident that they don’t care to wear their face masks inside the mall; if they wear their face masks, they don’t wear it properly. On day, I readied my vaccination card before entering a mall; when I reached the security guard, he just shrugged me off upon seeing my card, telling me that “it’s not necessary.”
Whatever the reasons that push people to get their vaccine jabs against Covid-19 during this three-day nationwide vaccination campaign, I hope that we would be able to reach the number needed to attain the so-called herd immunity. We must also deeply appreciate the volunteers for sharing their valuable time to the vaxx drive. Let the Bayanihan spirit live.
It’s a shame to know that a Cebu City Hall employee was arrested in an entrapment by the National Bureau of Investigation Central Visayas (NBI 7) and charged for corruption. What is revolting is the alleged extortion happened during the time when the late mayor Edgardo Labella (may his soul rest in eternal peace) was alive and still the city’s chief executive.
Kara Marie Arcilla-Bargamento, administrative aide III, allegedly demanded P100,000 per vendor for a “prime location” within a modern market and for the temporary relocation of vendors.
The NBI 7 already filed a complaint for violating Republic Act 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) against Arcilla-Bargamento.
But for Mayor Mike Rama, the case of Arcilla-Bargamento could only be “the tip of the iceberg.” Arcilla-Bargamento is in charge of the Market Operations Division (MOD) of Freedom Park and Warwick Barracks. Although Mayor Rama did not name names, he suspected that Arcilla-Bargamento was not alone in this anomaly. He said there is no room for corruption in his administration.
Rama has instructed the Human Resources Department to prepare the termination papers of Arcilla-Bargamento. But will the mayor personally investigate the corruption issue at City Hall instead of letting the NBI do the work? Let’s see if he has the time.
November 30, 2021
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