Vic N. Sumalinog

SO, the local government of Davao City is planning to add nine more vaccination hubs to be able to meet its target of having a herd immunity of its population by the end of this year? And based on the report that quoted no less than Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, the nine additional hubs are in addition to the existing 11 sites that are already in place.

In other words, at present the 11 sites are located in various places of the city most of which may be located in the central districts like the downtown areas as well as in the main centers of administrative subdivisions of the city such as in Toril and Calinan in the third, in Talomo, Bangkal, Magallanes Elem. School and in a Lanang mall in the first, and in Buhangin and Bunawan proper in the second district.

So far, the locations of the nine more vaccination centers are not yet identified by the local civil as well as health authorities. But we are hoping that these will be situated in areas where they are easily accessible by the people and not in places where going there becomes a major burden of the intended vaccine seekers.

We are hoping that the concerned authorities are aware of the distances of a number of barangays from the centers of government activities, even those that are located in the district centers.

And the people in these rural areas, especially those in the highlands not only have to contend with the distance, but with the availability of public transportations and the cost of travel towards the vaccination site.

Good if the barangay officials will have the same resourcefulness as the one who mobilized some privately-owned trucks to ferry several residents of a remote Calinan district barangay just so the constituents would be able to avail of the vaccination last Tuesday, May 17. And what if there is no such resource in the distant villages? How can the local government and our health officials encourage the rural folks to have themselves inoculated?

Thus, we are hoping that in putting up with the other nine additional vaccination centers, the city government and health authorities must be guided in the selection of location not just on the consideration of the ease of the men and women who would be delivering the health services but also on the convenience of those whom the services are intended to be given.

As a universal saying goes, “If Muhammad cannot go to the mountain, then let the mountain come to Muhammad.” Or, they should settle to some kind of a compromise: Find a site where convenience, safety, appropriateness of facilities, and accessibility suit both parties and not just any one of them to the detriment of the desired target herd immunity for the city’s population.

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And here’s another good move by the city government in relation to its desire to deter the increasing number of new cases of CoViD 19 infections that the local civil and health authorities have finally admitted.

They are also planning to put up additional swabbing centers to the present ones in Sta. Ana Health Center and the recently opened swab site at the Crocodile Park area which is presently providing the service mostly to public utility and food or food items delivery drivers. They are looking at one of the city’s major parks.

We feel the choice of the site is a good one. The park is known to be frequented by many people doing business in government offices located nearby. Thus, more people may be encouraged to use whatever vacant time while waiting for their transactions to be completed, to drop by the swabbing center and get themselves tested.

The authorities though must be clear in its guidelines for anyone who wishes to have him or herself tested. First and foremost the people must know if there is or no financial obligation that will accompany the testing, and whether or not there are certain prohibitions on a person’s gastronomic needs.
We believe these are important considering that any one of these could hinder the decision of individuals to submit to a swab test even if it is clearly for his or her benefit.

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Well, it is already clear that the local government is running after time in the completion of several road construction and rehabilitation projects in Davao City these days. It is understandable. The term of President Rodrigo Duterte has barely a year left. And the city officials have also to contend with the forthcoming election ban against implementation of infrastructure projects on the notion that these could be used for political purposes.

Maybe it was the reason why City Councilor Conrado Baluran stood at the Sanggunian Hall to deliver some kind of a privileged speech chastising the city’s electricity provider for its alleged failure to relocate so many poles affected by the expansion and rehabilitation project claiming that these have put the lives of city residents in danger either by electrocution or by road accidents.

Of course, he is right in both. But the question is, do the various authorities that have a stake in the projects coordinated with each other? From what we learned there are instances when the city government or the national government has not immediately decided how wide the expansion of the project would be.

Hence the determination of the one-meter easement or the extent of the road-right-of-way is not readily known by the electric utility. Then there are the other stakeholders like the water and telecommunications providers.

The poles cannot just be erected or transferred to locations where these other utilities have their own buried pipes (in case of water) and shared strung-lines on the poles (for telecommunications firms). If any one of the two is unable to do its share in the bargain immediate pole relocation cannot be done.

So it is imperative that the city legislative body or its committee handling public works, should first seek a consultative meeting before bringing the issue on the plenary. Unless of course some politicians are intending to do grandstanding for reelection purposes.



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Source: Mindanao Times ( https://mindanaotimes.com.ph/2021/05/22/rough-cuts-meeting-the-desired-herd-immunity/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rough-cuts-meeting-the-desired-herd-immunity)