ASEC RAMIL AYUMAN. Newly appointed DSWD Secretary Ramil Ayuman will hold offices, three of them, at each region covered by his duties. Ramil is former barangay captain and head of the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO). He told Bzzzzz Wednesday, January 19, he will occupy the post of Victor Neri, DSWD secretary for Visayas affairs who resigned when he filed his certificate of candidacy for congressman.

He'll be shuffling from office to office in Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas and Western Visayas, most likely in the capital city of each region.

Ayuman will become one of nine assistant secretaries (Asecs); there are also eight under-secretaries (Usecs). Check out what differs an Asec from a Usec in government.


ONE CEBU'S DECISION. What's One Cebu Party's choice of national candidates for the May elections? The promise was disclosure after November 15, deadline for substitution of candidates. When the day came, Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia said it would be "well after" that day, as the situation in Manila was "still fluid."

What is unsure in Manila is the choice of President Rodrigo Duterte and his ruling party PDP-Laban, although the bets must be heavy on the father supporting his daughter Sara and her running mate Bongbong, re-enforced this week with Comelec's recent dismissal of two of the multiple disqualification cases against Ferdinand Marcos's son.

ABORTED CONVENTION. An interesting fact is that as early as last November 28, "all 48 town mayors" of Cebu province declared their support for the BBM-Sara tandem. How awkwardly embarrassing could it get for the mayors -- most of whom belong to or support One Cebu -- if the province's dominant party would pick another team.

Yet one could "speculate" that the party had already decided its choice and very likely was set to announce it at a party convention scheduled on December 16. But you know how Typhoon Odette spoiled a lot of plans that day and weeks after. A Capitol publicist -- who said "I'm not really privy to One Cebu matters" -- told Bzzzzz Wednesday, "What we've been waiting for, the answers to our questions, na-prolonged jud og samot." Ha ha.


DIFFERENT KIND. The Department of Health, along with Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, has been saying there would be no lockdown under level 3 of the health emergency caused by the pandemic.

Yet compare the "no-lockdown" of January 2022 to total lockdown in the early months of the pandemic in 2020, particularly during the surges of the coronavirus, and see if this is not just a different kind of lockdown.

Under the "No-Lockdown" policy contained in Mayor Mike's Executive Order #157 (impishly titled "Oplan Puyo Lang Gihapon"), issued Wednesday, January 19:

[1] "All persons" in Cebu City shall "at all times" stay at home during the period of the public health crisis. Exception: those authorized to go outside their residences "by reason of work, business or activity." Violators -- with no "ample justification" -- will be arrested and prosecuted. The EO does not specify the law or ordinance as basis for the police action.

[2] Children aged 11 years and below shall strictly stay at home "except for excusable and emergency cases." The ban on the youth is so generally phrased that being anywhere outside one's house can be deemed a violation. With the same threat of arrest and prosecution, since the ban is contained in the same paragraph and section of the EO (section # 5 titled "Mandatory Stay-at-Home Order").

[3] Only "fully vaccinated" persons, aged 12 years and above, shall be allowed to enter "close and indoor venues and establishments, including malls and department stores," Exception: fully vaccinated minors aged 12 to 17 shall be allowed to enter if accompanied by a "fully vaccinated responsible adult, guardian or parent." Children aged 11 and below, already prohibited in another section of the EO from going out of their homes, are totally banned at malls and similar business places.

WORK FOR POLICE, GUARDS. It is clear that police officers under Mayor Mike's new EO are given a lot of work and discretion in deciding whether the person outside his home has a "reason of business, work or activity," or the 11-year-old- and -below child found outside the house is in an "excusable and emergency" situation.

Also clear is that security guards at private establishments are given discretion to determine if the parent or guardian accompanying the 12-to-17 year old is a "responsible adult." And they also can determine if the vaccine cards presented at the door are genuine.

MISSING FROM THE EO. There is no specific mention of seniors, who in all past "puyo" orders were specially mentioned. Now only the 11-and-below kids are singled out. The EO does not even require that the adult accompanying minors aged-12-and-above be not a senior. Mayor Mike, himself a senior, must have realized that the group had been flogged enough in City Hall mandates.

And public transport commuters are spared from any "no vaccination, no ride" order, which is unpopular in Metro Manila.

Conspicuous by its absence too is the law or ordinance to support arrest and prosecution of a violator of the stay-at-home ban. And no specified period of effectivity, just the broad, indefinite


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