“No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.” –Isaac Asimov
Seldom does the public hear from President Rodrigo Duterte’s consultant for the Western Visayas Jane Javellana but, when she does speak, she speaks with sense. For instance, after her appeal for local chief executives to unify efforts to keep Panay coronavirus-free, Governor Arthur Defensor, Jr. and Mayor Jerry P. Treñas held a joint press conference announced executive orders regulating entry into their respective jurisdictions. That event was followed by Capiz, Aklan, and Antique governors making similar moves.
Bacolod City and Negros Occidental eventually followed suit.
According to Javellana, if there were one order signed by all local officials across the region, “It would be easier for the alignment in strict implementation of quarantine procedures and guidelines for air, sea, and land transportation and passengers.”
She added, “Procedures will be manageable and may impact in disease prevention [across] the entire island of Panay – one executive order and one task force to handle all inquiries and press releases.”
Javellana’s point of view is not only relevant but necessary and should be “the right thing to do” for all the concerned local chief executives now that the main concern is protecting the health and welfare of the Ilonggos.
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Now that the coronavirus has decimated thousands of people across the globe, religion cannot exempt individuals from the pandemic.
Religion has been an enormous multiplier of tribal suspicion and hatred with members of each group talking of the other with tones of bigotry.
The Christians eat defiled pig meat, the Jews swill poisonous alcohol, Catholics are dirty and have too many children, and Muslims breed like rabbits and wipe their bottoms with the wrong hand.
In addition, Jews are believed to have lice in their beards and seek the blood of Christians to add flavor and zest to their Passover matzos, while Buddhist and Muslim Sri Lankans blamed wine-oriented Christmas celebrations for the 2004 tsunami.
Let me share Pope Francis’ “Prayer to Mary during Coronavirus Pandemic:”
O Mary, you always shine on our path as a sign of salvation and of hope. We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick, who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain, keeping your faith firm.
You, Salvation of Your People, know what we need, and we are sure you will provide so that, as in Cana of Galilee, we may return to joy and to feasting after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love, to conform to the will of the Father and to do as we are told by Jesus, who has taken upon himself our sufferings and carried our sorrows to lead us, through the cross, to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.
Under your protection, we seek refuge, Holy Mother of God. Do not disdain the entreaties of who are in trial, but deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin. Amen.
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Alex P. Vidal, who is based in New York City, used to be the editor for two local dailies in Iloilo./WDJ