#ChalkAsks: What Should Our Government Focus On Right Now?
Karen Jane Ng
After almost three months, the community quarantine has already been lifted in some provinces and cities. A few people have returned to work. Traffic is back. Malls have reopened (and got crowded.) Now, the Philippines' coronavirus cases are said to have reached the second wave. But do we really call it a "second wave" when the epidemic curve hasn't flattened at all? It's safe to say that it's not only our country that is in chaos but so does our way of defining words.
Vocabulary's the least of our priorities, though. As much as we want to correct the terms they used, there's more important things that we, the youth, want to tell the government first, such as the real issues that they should be focusing on. You might want to sit down and hear them out:
"Health, because one of our main assets is manpower. We cannot compromise the health of the Filipino workers. And this is beside the fact that we dont have adequate medical capacity to handle a pandemic like this." -Oyo, 23
"The government should focus on a fool-proof, all-encompassing program talaga on this pandemic. At sana ipaalam nila sa mga tao para naman may idea tayo. If meron na, like kasama mass testing, provision for the hospitals, plan for the economy/incoming recession, safety protocols, pati provision for Filipino families, sana naman maging transparent sila via effective communication. Gawin naman nilang clear ang bawat reports na binibigay nila sa media. Transparency, wala nang eme-eme. Wala namang perpektong bansa, pero I believe na basic lang 'tong hinihingi ko." -Yazhmin, 24
"Focus on mass testing bago i-lift ang kahit anong type ng quarantine. And dun sa vaccine na sinasabi nilang cure sa COVID. Sana lahat ng may COVID makapagtry. 'Di lang 'yung mayayaman and taga-government." -Angelica, 23
"Full support and re-allocation of COVID-19 budget to our local products to fight COVID19: 1.) Testing kits from UP scientists, 2.) Locally made PPEs that are three times cheaper and in the same level 4 quality (P450+ vs P1,800,) 3.) Mass production ng surgical mask, then give it free, or if not free, 'yung pinakamababang presyo para makabili lahat, just like 'yung ginawa ng Taiwan last February pa lang. By doing that they can fight the virus and at the same time help our economy by providing jobs to our own countrymen during this crisis." -Eloiza, 25
"My take on this would be that the government should implement ECQ again. I get it, marami need ng work. Economy's going down pero mas mahalaga ba yun than the health of everyone? Maybe, ibalik ECQ pero sige allow some establishments to operate but with the ECQ rules and guidelines pa din. This is the only way we all can be safe." -Crissy, 20
"The government should focus on our capability of mass testing, increasing of testing laboratories and quarantine facilities." -Calbin, 20
"Gastusin 'yung 300B+ na budget nila nang tama." -Dean, 25
"Tingin ko kailangan nila mag-focus sa economy ng Philippines. It should be strict and well-organized. Feeling ko kasi we have the resources, but our leaders are just using the funds in their selfish ways." -Kyle, 19
"Assurance of health benefits for the Filipinos working on the frontlines and people who are sick not just from COVID but also other kinds of illness." -Grace, 23
"Have a certain kind of COVID-19 testing kits which can be distributed to all hospitals. Make it affordable for all Filipinos, at least if they can't give it to all for free." -Mel, 22
"Make sure all hospitals can accommodate patients not just those with COVID but also people with other illness. And make sure that they don’t overprice during this pandemic." -Issa, 22
"Focus on preventive measures than cure. I think that should be the goal and focus of our government right now. Since the virus is almost nowhere to be found, we should be after preventing it to touch nor infect us. What we are experiencing right now really demands 200% of time, effort, energy, unity, and prayer, I guess. We should help one another and not condemn, and I also hope that we can follow the precautions and rules that I'm sure will help us." -Dei, 24
"Before focusing on anything, the government must first learn how to think... Nakakafrustrate." -Paolo, 25
Admit it or not, there are things that we can't do unless the government allows us to and there are things that we can't have unless they give us access to it. But through speaking up, chances are we can change that.