Manila Standard : Rollout and recovery

15 October 2021

By Manila Standard

"Marcos and Go will focus their efforts on these."

Former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, BBM for short, has his work all cut out in the coming months or years that it would take for the Filipino nation to rise from the devastation of COVID-19 pandemic.

Now the frontrunner in the upcoming presidential elections, BBM vowed to boost and speed up the government’s crisis response and push for a more efficient and effective vaccine rollout.

As soon as the country attains its target herd immunity, that is when we can look to fully reopen businesses and strive for economic recovery at pre-pandemic levels, he said.

The administration has raised the target herd immunity from 70 percent to 90 percent of the 110 million population which means inoculating 99 million Filipinos, including children.

BBM said he is focused on these extremely difficult tasks of halting the continued spread of coronavirus and resuscitating the economy with the reopening of businesses and return to work of millions of displaced workers.

“We must keep the momentum of crossing the bridge, getting to the other side so we say COVID is finally behind us and keep manageable whatever remains of it with efficient vaccine rollout and patient treatment,” said BBM.

He went on to stress the need to improve and strengthen the healthcare system which has been clearly neglected, along with the struggling agricultural sector and electrification program in rural areas.

“Also, I cannot overemphasize the importance of digital technology’s role in all aspects of contemporary living, particularly the internet,” BBM added.

It sure sounds like there is no time to spare for petty politicking for BBM.

In fairness, presidential aspirant Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson has chosen to take the high road and stick to important issues despite his abysmal survey rating.

Unfortunately, the rest of the President wannabes have so far resorted to empty rhetoric and mudslinging.

I would say vice-presidential candidate Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, has conducted himself in a more presidential-like manner than the bickering Isko “Yorme” Moreno and Leni Robredo.

We certainly need to be wiser and, perhaps, give credence to LGU executive experience that even Lacson does not have.

While Inday Sara Duterte is unlikely to substitute for Sen. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, “placeholder” standard bearer of the administration party spurned by the Davao City Mayor as a camp in utter disarray, the PDP-Laban is just fortunate to have Senator Bong Go for its vice-presidential bet.

Bong Go has quietly continued his advocacy of compassionate outreach to disadvantaged Filipinos, including victims of typhoon, flood, fire and debilitating illnesses.

He has led the setting up of 142 “Malasakit Centers” all over the country, each of which serves as a “one-stop shop” for the needy to avail of the available government assistance and benefits from PhilHealth, PCSO, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and other agencies.

As a longtime special assistant to Digong during the President’s long stint as Davao City mayor, Bong Go has practically more executive experience in LGU than former Manila Mayor Lito Atienza, now 80 years old.

At age 47, Bong Go is likewise much younger compared to Sotto, 73, Pangilinan, 58, and Ong, 58.

Clearly, we must be wiser in choosing both a unifying president and a supportive vice president who will lead the country in keeping up with global trends.