A bahay kubo stand strong in the middle of a green and peaceful area in Payanas, Torijos. Photo of Rens Tuzon/Dream Favor Travel and Tours
MOGPOG, Marinduque — Living on an island like Marinduque is bliss – there is no congestion so air pollution is at a minimum; unspoilt beaches surround the island and fresh local produce is available daily.
Except for the occasional typhoons and earthquakes that threaten the beauty and the bounty of the island, one could describe Marinduque as perfectly placid.
When news about the lockdown and enhanced community quarantine spread, people panicked as social media was constantly bombarded by all kinds of speculations — ranging from impending deaths to the economy spiraling downward – which left the locals even more terrified.
While everything about coronavirus became a household talk, I waited for a bulletin or advice from our local government, but there was none — except for the occasional posting of how to cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough, constant washing of hands and drinking plenty of water.
Hence, people started to take matters into their hands. They swarmed the nearest grocery stores and pharmacies and bought all the bottles of alcohol and hand sanitizers they could get.
The citizenry, including the sickly and the elderly, trooped en masse to the banks, braving the scorching heat of the sun. News of a “lockdown” created chaos and panic in the absence of government’s guidance and an influx of people to the island began.
Quarantine passes designed to help ease the orderly movements of people and goods created further confusion without careful study by the LGU of its implementation guidelines.
But four weeks into the ECQ, they seemed to get their act together — the price control was in effect, checkpoint procedures were a breeze and quarantine pass systems were more efficient.
Agri-produce could now be transported to markets, some stores providing essential services had been granted permits to operate while people observed physical distancing and other protocols. Some farmers were allowed to sell their harvests along the road while take outs and deliveries started to come back to life. The Marinduque Blood Council even held a successful mass blood donation activity.
However, screening of the beneficiaries for the Social Amelioration Program was another knot to untie. Many questioned the selection process which — they alleged — lacked clear guidelines and full transparency.
This is not meant to accuse anyone of any wrongdoing except that during these trying times, the government should work closely with their constituents with sincerity and transparency.
The global pandemic is testing our resolve to fight and bounce back as a community. Hence we expect our leaders to set aside their personal interests and for once, put the interest of the entire community at the top of the list.
Meantime, I hope and pray that as soon as this pandemic has been defeated, and the cure for COVID-19 found, we would all come together as a community stronger in resolve to work together to bring back to its feet the world that has fallen on its knees.
1 Corinthians 12:14
“For the body is not one member, but many.”
This story was first published on Tribune
About The Author
Lorie Licop-Smart is a proud wife to her long time British beau. She served as a Capacity Building Programs Coordinator of Agrea, Inc. When she’s not working, you will find Lorie in her kitchen making the most amazing salad and home-baked sandwich you have ever tasted.