THE Philippines is 123 years old and in all these years, we have often worn the Luzon lens when we talk of the country; more so of the National Capital Region (NCR). There are people from Luzon who have not traveled to Mindanao because of the peace and order situation there and the preconceived notion that Mindanao is different from the rest of the country.
Today's article is actually a follow-up on what I wrote on this column two weeks ago. At that time, my father, Daddy as my sister and I fondly called him, was diagnosed with COVID-19 and was rushed to a private hospital in Laguna. He was intubated and was fighting for his life when that article appeared on this column two weeks ago.
THE Red Cross (RC) is a humanitarian organization, and never has it been associated with profit. If we go by the International Red Cross (IRC) and Red Crescent Movement (RCM), it is an "international humanitarian movement with approximately 97 million volunteers, members and staff worldwide. It was founded to protect human life and health, to ensure respect for all human beings, and to prevent and alleviate human suffering."
Article VI, Section 21 of the Philippine Constitution grants the Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective committees with the power to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation. Under Senate Rule No. 5, Section 17, the concerned Committee shall have "the powers of an investigating committee, including the power to summon witnesses and take their testimony and to issue subpoena and subpoena duces tecum, signed by its Chairman, or in his absence by the Acting Chairman, and approved by the (Senate) President."
I am deviating from my usual practice of writing a commentary on politics, business and social events to write on something more pressing and close to my heart and closer to home. As the title of this essay suggests, COVID-19 is real. It is so real that has come closer to home. I am never a doubter of COVID-19 and I am not an anti-vaxxer but I never imagined myself and my family to experience it the disease first-hand when our father has been diagnosed with it last August 30, 2021.
THE 2022 General Appropriations Act (GAA) is an election budget, which was submitted by the Executive last August 23 to the House of Representatives, where budget review will commence. Speaker Lord Allan Velasco has set September 16 as the date for its House passage. The Senate will therefore have half a month to complete its review before the end of the general registration on September 30 and the filing of the candidacy certificates from October 1 to 8 per the Commission on Elections (Comelec) calendar.
Political positioning and posturing for the 2022 Elections have recently become obvious among interested individuals, groups, and parties. The protagonists for various national posts are currently in the heat of discussions with several groups and organizations for potential partnerships and alliances. Prominent ones have already started using traditional and social media platforms to create awareness and increase their public visibility with the deadline for the filing of candidacies fast approaching.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the government to constantly change and revise its response strategy based on trends in the number of infections, absorptive capacity of our healthcare system, and special variants of interest, among others. A critical component of the response strategy involves the periodic bi-weekly decision-making on the quarantine status of the country based on scientific and economic considerations.
I was a college student at the University of the Philippines when the United States was struck by a series of acts of terrorism on September 11, 2001. As my college friends and I were having dinner, live footage of the burning twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City after each of them were struck by an airliner was being shown on television, with people running away from the area and the buildings eventually collapsing. Later news reports came in, saying that the Pentagon, the massive Arlington, Virginia headquarters of the US Department of Defense and the US Armed Forces, was also struck an airliner, causing a section of it to caught fire, and another airliner crashed in a sparsely populated region of the US state of Pennsylvania after taking off from Washington, DC.