EVEN as the CoViD 19 pandemic is just about slowing down in the Philippines the country is again threatened by another highly contagious disease, the monkey pox. While according to the World Health Organization (WH0) the new malady is unlikely to become a pandemic the fear that such disease will again turn upside down the health situation of the world remains quite  disturbing. What with the still raging CoViD impact not just on the health of the world’s population but also on the global economy.

     In Davao City local officials as well as health authorities are already making preparations in case the monkey pox will show any sign it has entered the city. But even before the dreaded disease is able to show its ugly head another illness is reported to be possibly already in some parts of this area in Mindanao. It is the Chicunguna disease caused by organisms borne also by dengue carrying mosquitos.

     Based on reports coming from the Regional and City Health offices, in certain barangays north of the city several persons have already been sick with symptoms associated to chincunguna.  However, it is heartening to note that the same health agencies are saying that they could only suspect that the disease is of that kind because the persons affected are not also confirmed to have dengue.

     In other words, until the specimen samples from the infected residents in those barangays will confirm that the disease infecting them is indeed chicunguna, the cases will remain speculation.

     Of course we should be happy that our local government and health officials are fast on the draw. They are quick in instituting measures to prevent a spread of the diseases if indeed it is of that highly transmissible and deadly chicunguna which is affecting a good number of people in those northern villages in the city.

     After all, is not prevention many times better than cure?

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     Now the incoming Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has confirmed that he is appointing retired UP Professor Clarita Carlos as his National Security Adviser. That will save the lady foreign relations expert from the rigors of frequent travelling if she were to become Department of Foreign Affairs secretary.

     Yes, we personally believe that the National Security Adviser post was Dr. Carlos’ personal choice when Marcos Jr. was possibly asking her where she could best work in his administration. As security adviser Carlos who is already in her advancing years need not move around a lot in order to be aware of where the security of the country and of the President as well be wanting. With her long years of experience in the academe and in interactions with foreign governments as a consequence of her field of studies, she already knew who from the outside have ambitions to expand their range of influence using covert activities that are usually masqueraded with best of intentions like helping perk up a country’s economy or streamlining governance.

      On internal threats that undermine national security, Professor Carlos’ long stint at UP could have already made her aware of the behavior of those who want to destabilize the legitimately installed government if only to advance their own interests – political or whatever.

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     Will the Davao- IGaCoS connector bridge project be ever realized? This is one question begging for answer especially now that President Rodrigo R. Duterte is vowing out of office in three weeks’ time.

     Yes, Davaoenos had been eagerly waiting for such project even as early as the late 70’s when talks of its implementation started going the rounds in Davao City and the then one Davao del Norte Province.

     At that time we were new in the city and when we started working in a government agency sometime in 1979 and attended some meetings of regional officials of the national government, issues like submission to the national planning office of a bridge project for mainland Davao and Samal island was already common fare.

     During the heydays of the Floirendo family in the Davao Region politics almost, if not all local government executives were highly optimistic that the bridge project would have come to reality. This was because of the perceived connection of the Floirendo patriarch Don Antonio Floirendo Sr. to then Malacanang tenant Ferdinand Marcos Sr. Unfortunately the late President’s ouster caught up with the project and it went phffft. The five succeeding administrations somehow shelved the project to the back burner. It was resuscitated with great enthusiasm when a Davaoeno President in Rodrigo Duterte came in in 2016.

     Unfortunately again, bureaucratic red tapes, issues on right of way and even in determining which feasibility study by among those commissioned by the national government including funding source determination became  major irritants. It was already late when the project planners realized the term of office of Duterte is about to end.

     We wonder if it would be a second Marcos in Malacanang who would be able to fulfill a promise that was committed as early as the time of the first Marcos at the helm of the national government.

     Hope springs eternal anyway.

                                                                    


Source: Mindanao Times ( https://mindanaotimes.com.ph/2022/06/10/rough-cuts-13/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rough-cuts-13)