OCTA: Impose bubble again to protect NCR Plus vs. deadly Covid-19 variant
The OCTA Research group suggested that placing the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus (Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal) under a bubble again will greatly help to protect these areas against the Delta variant, following reported local cases of the variant.
OCTA Research fellow Dr. Guido David said on Sunday (July 18) that the last bubble was “effective” against the surge and it was controlled within the region.
“This is just an idea pa lang, pero the last time we had a bubble sa NCR Plus noong nagka-surge tayo was to keep our other neighboring provinces safe from the virus, and it was effective naman. Hindi masyado kumalat ‘yung surge natin, na-control natin within the region,” he said.
David emphasized that the aim of the bubble is to preserve the NCR Plus economy against the entry of the Delta variant.
“Right now we are okay sa NCR habang wala pa ang Delta variant dito, the numbers look good, mababa ‘yung hospitalization natin, mababa ‘yung positivity rate natin,” he added.
He said a stricter border control around Metro Manila must be imposed for the protection of the region and its neighboring areas.
“The bubble is one discussion and the other is stricter border control, they could be together or pwedeng bubble lang. If we are in a bubble, it’s understood that we have strict border controls in NCR Plus, plus neighboring regions, and again we don’t have to change ‘yung quarantine classification natin if we are protected inside the bubble,” he explained.
He said that it is important for local governments to be proactive to avoid a repetition of the surge of March 2021. However, he believes that vaccination has greatly helped to prevent a recurrence of the surge.
Dabawenyos are fortunate that they have a local government headed by Mayor Sara Duterte and father Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte that is rich in resources.
With its present annual revenue breaching the P4 bllion mark, Davao City is among a few cities in the country that have ample resources to be able to focus major projects on the very important mission of providing education to the young.
For many educational institutions like those in Mindanao, the Manila capital, where the Department of Education is headquartered, is too far away to be responsive to local situations.
Most often, their concerns are likely to get lost in the competition for attention of DepEd.
Local School Boards (LSB) are the key to making local decisions that meet local needs. LSBs were created by the Local Government Code to help fund public school needs through the Special Education Fund. But LSBs can do much more than that.
The Davao City LSB is a case in point. More than just funding shortfalls, it has focused on interventions that provide system-wide solutions for the entire system.
Davao City has a significant Muslim population, both indigenous (Kalagan and Sama) and from across Mindanao (Maguindanaoan, Maranao, Badjao), a sizeable indigenous Lumad populace and migrants from the Visayas and Luzon. As the largest city in Mindanao, Davao City has 286 public elementary and 69 public high schools with over 250,000 students and 6,671 teachers (SY 2009-2010). Because of the city?s ethno-linguistic diversity, it is one of the most complex school systems in the country.
Because it has the resources, the Davao City government has focused on funding salaries of teachers, building of schools and providing funds for training of public school teachers, among others.
The Davao City School Board is a low-profile body that works to achieve its mission witout much fanfare.
With school opening this year less of a hassle for teachers, parents, students and pupils, it is time to give credit to the Local School Board for its persevering task of helping provide education to the young.
At the back page of today’s issue of our paper is a column of Juan Miguel Luz, the associate dean of the Center for Development Management at the Asian Institute of Management published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer praising to high heavens Davao City’s Local School Board.
The column talked about how Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and councilor Mabel Acosta, chair of the City Council committee on education, partnered with the Department of Education in the promotion of education as a key program of the local government.
If Speaker Prospero Nograles would have time, we would advise him to read the column. He would learn that education is more complex than giving scholarship. We are saying this because Speaker Nograles is gunning for the mayorship in May against Vice Mayor Sara Duterte, who is also deeply involved in the LSB, being head of the city council where policy and financial legislations affecting education programs are crafted.
Speaker Nograles has been assailing City Hall for its alleged lack of a serious program on educating children, and is going around town telling people that he had sent thousands of scholars to school without their families paying a single cent. In one of his statements, he said City Hall is spending millions for cheap porridge (lugaw) while neglecting the bigger concern of educating children.
If he is to be believed, City Hall’s education program is a total disaster if compared to his scholarship program, which by the way, is a regular program of the Department of Education, commandeered by the Speaker and made as part of propaganda to highlight his accomplishments.
In the process of assailing City Hall programs on education, Nograles maligned not only Mayor Duterte, Sara Duterte and councilor Acosta but also the entire public school system and DepEd city and regional officials who have been instrumental in the successful implementation of programs and projects of the LSB for nine years now, involving the entire public school community.
The DepEd-LSB partnership is funded by the local government, which should give the partnership a local color. Nograles, in his myopic view of the complexity of the education system, defines an effective education system as merely doling out scholarship certificates from DepEd and a few school buildings hastily funded at the approach to election.
He has been talking numbers lately and has placed at 26,000 the present number of scholars he sent to school under the DepEd scholarship program. Some reliable quarters say the number is 6,000, starting from the time Nograles sat as congressman in 2001.
Inday Sara on television sometime back said Nograles has prostituted the scholarship program by converting the scholars into a vote-getting machine with each scholar forced to deliver 10 votes for Nograles and Karlo come election. This is a despicable act for the Speaker to do, but we are still checking if this is true. But if it is, the scholars could be potent campaigners and could deliver 260,000 votes for Nograles, if his figure on the number of scholars is true. A wag said because the scholars allowed themselves to be prostituted as political machines by Nograles, the Nograles scholars should be called prostitute scholars. That should steal the thunder from the commercial sex workers congregating at night in the shadows of the Central Bank building in Quirino Avenue: they are now called prostitute bankers.
Joking aside, for propaganda purposes, figures are good. You bloat them and you win points. But liars are the most hated people during elections. Some people have suggested that the Nograles figures on the number of his scholars may be unbelievable and should be validated. This is a terrible assault on the credibility of the Honorable Speaker. But he should prove his claim with documentary evidence, considering that voters come May would be choosing candidates also on the basis of their honesty.
Frankly, we are also astounded by the figure of 26,000 of the Speaker and are one with the unbelievers that the number could be bloated.
But no harm. We believe the Speaker can prove that the number was not picked from the winds. It is easy for him to come out with the evidence that is solid and not fishy as his evidence on the alleged P2.9 billion worth of government property at City Hall that he said has been missing since 2003.
It is public knowledge that the Speaker has bought into one of the local dailies (his’ and Karlo’s press releases and photos are found in the paper from front to back), which he could use to publish the names of his scholars to prove critics wrong.
If the Honorable Speaker will do that then he can prove that he is not lying with his figures. If he won’t, then he should remember that honesty is one of the criteria of voters when they go to the polls. It would be bad for Dabawenyos to know that the Speaker, Davao City-born and bred, the Number 4 most powerful man in the country, would come back to Davao City to run for mayor, lying through his teeth over the number of his prostitute scholars.
If the Speaker will publish the names of his 26,000 scholars in his daily paper, this is our promise: We will not vote for Inday Sara and his vice mayor Rody. But we will not also vote for him or his running mate Ben de Guzman.
However, we will be giving him a consolation: We will vote for his candidate for a council seat, Dr. Jeff Ho.