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Has the end started?

The biggest single-day number of confirmed COVID-19 cases was 538 last March 1. On April 3, the number went down to 385. On April 4, it was 76. The following day, it jumped back to 152.

In Baguio, they have recorded zero new cases for five consecutive days.

In Italy – which is second to the US in most number of cases – they reported a drop for the first time in number of COVID-19 patients in their hospitals’ ICU. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), eight in ten or 80% of infected patients experience mild illness and eventually recover. Only some 15% experience severe illness while five percent were critically ill.

In the US – which has a population of more than 327 million – the number of positive cases (257,367 and counting, rapidly) represent 0.078%.

In the Philippines, the number of cases (3,246) represent only 0.0028% of our population of 107 million.

Instead of getting depressed with daily dosage of negative news, we should pay more attention (and maybe share) posts of selfless government officials and private individuals (famous or not) who help others.

Many have become ardent followers of Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto whose recent innovative public service is giving fresh vegetables from Benguet to Pasig frontliners. A community kitchen will even cook the vegetables before delivering the meals to the frontliners.

Meanwhile, in the city of Gapan in Nueva Ecija, 46-year-old Mayor Emeng Pascual is distributing one sack of rice, live chickens and many more to the more than 34,000 families in his city. He is using the city’s own calamity funds plus his salary since he began as mayor in 2016 – that’s 45 months equivalent to P4.5 million. He targets to raise P50 million. So, he added another P1.5 million and asked his father and sister to donate P5 million each.

This fund-raising effort may pale to the pledge of Cabinet members to donate 75% of their salaries for the following months until December. President Duterte pledged 100% of his salary.

But wait. Why are they raising funds? We were informed that P275 billion – that’s a ‘B’ – had been allocated to help us survive the pandemic. P275-B is not enough? Only if our fears are true.

The Social Amelioration Program that promises P5,000 to P8,000 for each household is already much awaited. The unclear mode of distribution will definitely cause widespread unrest. The distribution of relief goods by barangay officials is already fueling many rumors of politicking. 

Some doubt the P275-B will reach the intended beneficiaries. Middle class households are being left out. Focus has always been the poor. What about the working middle class who contribute much of the taxes? An IATF official was even quoted saying residents of subdivisions should not expect relief from government. Ouch!

Will we learn our lesson come election time in 2022? Money talks.

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