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Mayor Richard Gomez initiative vis-à-vis COVID-19

By: Atty. Ruphil F. Bañoc - Columnist/CDN Digital | April 24,2020 - 08:29 AM

 

True leaders are decisive. What to do in any situation is instinctive in them.

Weak leaders are like flotsam in the ocean, tossed by the waves. These are leaders, who are no leaders at all, who are without initiative. A whiff of the wind of danger frightens their souls.

That we have leaders like them is a testament to the low standards that we set on our leaders.

Mayor Richard Gomez’ way of handling the current situation is one worth noting.

In an interview over my Straight to the Point radio program at DYHP RMN CEBU, Gomez said that it was pointless to go into repacking as, like all of us, they are racing against time. 

“Sus, og magrepack mahoman na lang ang ECQ, di makadawat tanan,” he said.

(If we will repack the relief goods, the ECQ will be over and still not all can  receive their relief goods.)

This is the reason he decided to give one sack of rice to each of the households in the city, yes, all households, no identification required, because such process of listing may cause so much delay.

It only took four days for Gomez to have the rice and canned goods distributed all over the city.

I don’t know but things like these do not need to be conceived by geniuses. These are matters of common sense.

No wonder Ormoc becomes an overnight object of envy, especially because of the one sack of rice for each household. There are still richer cities when compared to Ormoc, yet their leaders are either hesitant or outright dumb or corrupt, for how else do you explain their lack of concern?

But whether one town or city is rich or not does not appear to be a hindrance for giving. Kananga, for example, followed Ormoc’s lead.  It also gave one sack of rice to each household plus two dressed chickens. Heaven knows Kananga is not a rich town. There are also other few towns that give one sack of rice.

Of course, the first excuse for those who choose to give three to five kilos of rice is that there is no budget for the quality and quantity of relief goods that Ormoc gave. Such an excuse is a funny one.

Gomez has a ready answer on the question of budget. He said he used the city’s calamity fund, general fund and certain percentage of the development fund.

Gomez even went on to reassure that in the event  — he used our dialects’ “simbako” (God forbid!)  — the enhanced community quarantine extends,  the city is prepared to give another one sack of rice.

Our politicians can give P1,000 per voter — yes, per voter, not per household — during election, yet they cannot give one sack of rice at a time when everybody is hungry. The reason is obvious as far as their world view is concerned: Why bother a lot when people can be bought during elections!

They say there is no budget but look at what happened to our relatively new roads when election approaches. They are replaced. It’s about kickback. They realign budgets at a whim, but when it comes to people’s stomach during crisis they care not.

While I do not pin so much hope on the possibility that the people would replace these politicians in 2022, I am praying that they would reflect a little harder whether they deserve the kind of leaders they have.

May the people learn even a little and even slowly./dbs

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