GREEN MINDED: Thoughts on Philippine Agriculture Today

We don’t want the government to fail, the government already failed us

Apr. 29, 2020

The narrative that people with critical opinions on the inept government’s response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic wishes the government to fail is utterly wrong, absurd, and narrow. No one wishes the government to fail for the simplest reason – no one in his/her rightful mind wishes to die.

The disease triangle

Now, let us try to understand the pandemic as both medical and a social problem. Basics in virology suggest that there are three factors to consider in the spread of diseases: virulent pathogen, favorable environment, and susceptible host.

First, the virulent pathogen Coronavirus is here, no debate about that. However, we could have prevented the entry of the virus had the government listened to the call of the people to impose travel bans from affected countries like China. The government was more concerned with China’s feelings rather than the safety of the Filipinos.

Second, the past and present administrations failed to address the housing problem along with their failed economic programs resulting in densely populated urban centers, which is actually a ticking time bomb for the virus. Moreover, places like prisons are too crowded and vulnerable to the spread of the virus. Again, another ticking time bomb. Overpopulated areas are a favorable environment for the virus to spread rapidly.

Third, the government opted to declare community quarantine. I have nothing against community quarantine as long as the government will sufficiently provide nutritious food rations and support subsidies. Yet the government failed in delivering these subsidies in the context of an urgent situation such as a pandemic. Now, if people do not have sufficient food, they are vulnerable to the virus, certainly a susceptible host.

The social triangle

Beyond the disease triangle, this pandemic also exposes another problem, a deep-seated problem of economic, political, and humanitarian crises that can be explained by another triangle – the social triangle.

The progressive song Tatsulok revived by the singer Bamboo, tells a lot about this social triangle. It exposes that those at the top of the triangle controls society, while those at the bottom are victims of an exploitative system and worse of state-sponsored fascism.

This government shamelessly displays the double standards in checkpoints and communities. For example, health workers reporting for work were fined as they ˈviolate ˈ the no angkas policy, while men in uniform freely riding in angkas with impunity. Where relief workers were detained and charged with absurd cases, while the government inefficiently distributes food and financial aids. Worse, mentally challenged people are being killed, while Senators like Koko Pimentel roam around freely.

Again, nobody wishes the government to fail, however, this government failed us. (davaotoday.com)

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