By Jimmy K. Laking
The re-imposition of curfew and liquor ban in Davao City says much about the new reality that has enveloped this part of the country like a dark cloud.
Here we go again as in the quarantine months but we do not have a choice. With the number of coronavirus cases in Davao City on the surge and with government facilities struggling to treat new COVID-19 cases, Mayor Sara is forced to take a drastic decision.
The re-imposition of curfew, she said, should be able to restrict non-essential activities. In short, people are expected to be at their homes after work and are called upon to limit their extracurricular activities.
The objective is to control transmission of the virus that thrives in areas where people are known to gather and where distancing is often disregarded.
“We are faced with a surge (in coronavirus cases) right now. If are to indulge in holiday celebration, we will drown,” she warned.
It is plain where the mayor is coming from. Department of Health statistics showed that as of October 12, the Davao region tallied 3,610 cases with 2,801 recoveries and 118 deaths.Of the total figure, 2,363 were reported in Davao City, with 391 in Davao del Norte, 285 in Davao Oriental, 242 in Davao de Oro, 241 in Davao del Sur and 88 in Davao Occidental.In the Southeast Asia region, the Philippines has a total tally of 348,698 cases, second only to Indonesia with 349,160 cases.
This is not surprising in so far as the region is concerned. The bulk of the region’s population is in Davao City. And the bulk of communities where the so-called informal sector is numerous is in Davao City. The term is a euphemism for those residing in communities built close to each other and where people interact closely with each other. These communities where most of the poor and those without land and shelter live are a sharp contract to high-end residences and sky-rise buildings that seem to give an impression of a city and a citizenry oozing with success and development at every turn.
I saw these first in the midst-1980s when I was adding pieces to a journalistic craft. And having been up the mountain and over the creek in a manner of saying, I am disappointed to realize that they are still very much around and remain part of this city’s narrative. It was no surprise to learn these communities had been often subjected to lockdowns and quarantine.
I am hoping the people surrounding this city’s managers should able to open their eyes to address this reality once and for all. Hopefully, this should be the silver lining when the dark fog lifts.
Hopefully also, the lessons being learned during the pandemic should be able to collectively instill in Filipinos the need for discipline and responsibility. That is, if they are to move forward as a people striving to sup in the cup of prosperity and fulfillment.