Back-riding on Motorbikes, Still on Amber

Misamis Oriental (June 20, 2020) – Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made a clear announcement on Saturday whether motorcycle back-riding would be green to go or would be on amber.

Motorcycle back-riding as a means of livelihood allowed drivers to earn a living. After months of nonoperational, motorcycle drivers did not earn their monthly income, which added to their problems.

However, Spokesperson Roque said that the government would allow back-riding “in principle” on motorbikes soon.

As reported, Spokesperson Roque wished to elaborate that motorcycle back-riding would soon pick up where it left off after the technical working group (TWG), composed of the Department of Transportation, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Health, and Department of Trade and Industry, as well as the Bureau of Philippine Standards and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, could set its approval of the requirements issued by the National Task Force.

Spokesperson Roque mentioned this report in the Laging Handa virtual meeting that the NTF would issue the guidelines, and the TWG would set the approval of the requirements.

As this situation happened, motorcycle back-riding would remain on amber or yellow-orange in the traffic light. As soon as the TWG finally set the approval of the requirements and as long as the safety of the people helped flatten the curve of the coronavirus, it would, furthermore, greenlight sooner or later.

Indeed, the TWG would only ensure that this move to allow motorbike back-riding should not jeopardize the mission to shrink the COVID-19 cases. Once everything was set, the TWG would give a go if the TWG group took the chance to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. Once this condition happened, the public would be green to go on back-riding again.

Photo credit: From Pexels

Police to Require Travel Authority for all Travelers to Enter CDO Despite Mayor Moreno’s Statement

Misamis Oriental (June 10, 2020) – Mardy Hortillosa II, the spokesperson of the Police Regional Office (PRO), announced that police officers in Cagayan de Oro would continue to issue travel authority for those passengers or travelers who made an entry in the city.

Mardy Hortillosa II said that the government needed to regulate the movement of people or travelers without important activities. Hortillosa pointed out the relevance of travel authority.

“The city will not require any travel authority to all residents who wish to go to the city,” Mayor Oscar Moreno said, on Tuesday, June 9.

“I will advise Colonel Dampal to observe that,” Mayor Oscar Moreno added.

The Police Regional Office (PRO) emphasized that CDO Mayor Oscar Moreno remained cogent and praiseworthy to ease the burden experienced by the passengers and travelers. As well, the PRO mentioned that regulating the movement and activities of people without important activities in the City and Misamis Oriental would curb the spread of the coronavirus in line with IATF Resolution # 43 on paragraph A, sub-paragraph 4A, “the movement of all persons in areas placed under MGCQ shall be limited to accessing essential goods and services, for work in the offices or industries permitted to operate hereunder, and for other activities permitted.”

As publicized, the said travel authority provision prompted by the PRO-Northern Mindanao could curtail the spread of the virus. “Implementing the Travel Authority mandate could shrink the possible transmission of the virus,” Hortillosa said.

Hortillosa accentuated that the PRO-10 would respect the acumen and decision of the city mayor. However, the PRO-10 would stand guard and raise this concern to the regional IATF.

Finally, Hortillosa stated that the PRO-Northern Mindanao management would call on Mayor Oscar Moreno’s concerns to seek for further actions from the Regional IATF.

Photo credit: Sunstar

Online Education, Not A Bad Thing After All

When COVID-19 strikes, all educational institutions need to adapt to the new means and ways to continue their operations and classes as well. This alternative to learning new concepts and ideas is the new strategy to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. However, parents in the country today are worried about the educational status quo. They question the reliability and veracity of online learning. They question how students and teachers interact and how they participate in the process of learning. Despite all these questions, learners are left in the balance of whether or not they need to continue their studies or waste one year to let the COVID-19 pandemic vanish in existence.

Even if government leaders in the Philippines lift the travel restrictions and even if everything goes back to normal, academic classes still cannot resume. President Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines announced that he would not allow pupils and students to go to school without the COVID-19 vaccine. He said that he could not let them get infected with the virus.

To curb the coronavirus, the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte made public announcement that he could not let students rub their elbows in the crowded classroom that infringed the social distancing policy. However, he said he would allow these learners to go to school unless the COVID-19 vaccine is available. Professional experts and teachers, as well as the specialists in the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education, exert much effort in promoting this learning tool called online learning to convince parents and students like to acknowledge the positive impact of online education. In terms of online education, pupils and students learn new concepts and ideas, read the course materials, study the lessons, submit projects, and take tests online.

In response to the challenging times, schools have to combine face-to-face learning and online learning known as blended learning. Most colleges and universities adapt to the demands of technology in the face of COVID-19. Online learning and blended learning are two great options for parents, students, and teachers to consider in the time of COVID-19.

However, most parents disagree on the concept of online learning. Some of them argue that they refuse to register their pupils and students at online learning due to the nature of the educational system. They assert that their pupils and students will not learn anything if they let them register and study online. As well, they think that their pupils and students are not yet ready to study independently and that these learners may somehow access uncalled-for and unwarranted documents and video files. They think that the online world is dangerous. Because of this reasoning, they prefer to stop registering and stopping their pupils and students online and will study a year after the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the contrary, online education is not a bad thing. Pupils and students can learn meaningful things online. They can learn from their basic to advanced lessons from podcasts to tutorials. With thorough supervision, parents can closely monitor their students and their progress based on the lessons of the new concepts and ideas. They can even help their children explain some topics after their work since online learning allows their students to access to their desired time. In other words, online learning gives them free time. They can even encourage their family members to participate in many social conversations between them and their kids. For that reason, online education remains beneficial as it gives pupils and students more opportunities to study on their own.

Instead of panicking, parents need to work hard to make sure that their students learn new concepts and ideas. They need to think of the benefits of online education. Because of online education system, parents and learners can adjust their class and work schedules. In the end, online education is not a bad thing after all.

COVID-19 Pandemic: What We Do About It?


The global pandemic has caused us nightmares. We become emotionally distressed and wrecked thinking that we lose everything – jobs and start-up businesses as our means of survival. For months now, we do not know what to do. We keep on waiting for relief packages from the Philippine government. Yes, we believe we can receive kilos of rice and a few canned goods. And yet, we wait long enough to receive the promises that the government gives. The government through the DSWD will distribute the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) benefit and we expect to receive it since we qualify the criteria. However, we just wait for nothing since our local government units with their partners cannot provide all for the poor people. The Philippine government only prioritizes the poorest of the poor people in the country. How about us, the poor?

COVID-19 pandemic has brought terrors in us. My mother who has been bedridden for years cannot go to the hospital. Firstly, she cannot move around. Her condition does not allow her to travel plus the travel restrictions. Based on the mandate, people, aged 60 and above, are not allowed to travel due to their weak immune system. They do not have a strong immune system to fight the coronavirus as they say. Secondly, she is afraid that she can get the virus in the hospital, or the hospital will refer her to another. She does not want to happen due to access to transportation for us, the relatives. Thirdly, she cannot walk by herself and urinate too often that she needs medical and immediate attention here and there and then and now. When these things happen, we cannot assist her since the hospital will only require the nurse to take care of her. Or, the hospital will require one immediate family to take care of her. This option seems a hassle since my mother requires two more to take care of her physical condition. Thirdly, medical doctors and nurses are busy due to the surge of patients coming in and going out. Because of COVID-19, she has to wait for an additional three months to get her medical checkup.

As well, COVID-19 has made us feel the terror. The use of the pronoun “us” refers to the poorest of the poor, poorer of the poor, and the poor. I live in a concrete house, lose my job, and still pray to find jobs after COVID-19. I belong to the poor category. I categorize myself that way since I can still eat rice and dried fish. However, we miss the SAP support because our zone leader in the village include our house as a criterion for those individuals who cannot receive the SAP assistance. Moreover, we have nothing in out pocket, wallet, or banks. We suffer a lot. I know that other people who belong to the lower-middle class and the middle-class groups still suffer the same way. However, we cannot do something about it but to stay at home, to ensure social distancing, to apply home and community quarantine, and to ensure lockdown. For three months or so, the global pandemic has shattered lives, torn the economies, and produced terrors. Because of COVID-19, we lose everything.

Indeed, COVID-19 keeps us distant. It makes us wait for eternity. We do not know exactly what happens to us and the world around us. All governments in all countries work hard to mitigate the risks of the coronavirus. However, none can find means and ways to solve the problem. Nevertheless, we have to ask for a solution to the problem – virus and poverty. Are we shutting down the economy? Are we allowing all people to go back to normal? If we shut down the economy, are we able to provide food and medical support for the people – the poorest of the poor, the poorer of the poor, the poor, lower-income middle, and middle-class groups? If we go back to normal, can we provide vitamins and minerals to all people? I cannot complain. Perhaps, the government will decide.

Used Photo from KJ Rosales, The Philippine STAR

From Village Talk to Facebook: How Fake News of COVID-19 Spreads like Wildfire?

The spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) across the globe operates like a wildfire. This propagation of information generates a global link wherein all country leaders and citizens get alarmed. However, some people have a sense of humor to report news. They make fun of it. They even fail to take the news seriously. As a result, they spread fake news and lies across social media sites to magnify the situation to produce anxiety and worries. The splurge of this fake news and information over the broadcast and print media even creates panic and tension. In effect, this information muddles individual people to think which one is real or not.

However, some people find joy in spreading fake news. They love to offer some unreliable reports using Facebook, Twitter, and other social media means. Some prefer to post video materials telling that bananas can beat the power of the novel virus. Other people, however, remain unhappy with posting funny, yet pity acts of pleasure. As a result, they post another video on Facebook regarding the relevance of eggs as treatments to beat COVID-19.

It seems comical to ruminate the idea of lying to share nonsensical information. As COVID-19 prospers in infecting people, it also thrives on corrupting social media sites. It then contaminates the minds of the users. This idea suggests the power of the virus, so strong that it kills more than 100,000 people across the globe as of May 3, 2020, at 05:00 PM. The coronavirus does not only target individuals’ biological part but also mental acuity. For instance, some people who post wrong information on Facebook and other social media platforms may also receive the virus – the mental infection that twists genuine information. It sounds funny though. Or else, it may sound a conspiracy. Regardless of the situation, the virus infection remains fatal to people. The infection on Facebook surely lasts as fake news reporters and rumormongers pollute others by telling them some bogus statistics, phony treatments, and fake pieces of information.

In the end, Facebook can be a viable tool to spread information. However, people need to learn the ethics of messaging and posting relevant and significant information. When they decide to post information, they surely have to realize the ethical grounds of sharing information. Writers who post the information have the moral obligation to inform the public based on truth.

How Filipino People Respond to COVID-19

The corona virus, known as COVID-19, has disrupted economies, shattered social structures and units, and even annihilated many lives. Different reports from all over the world bring media attention that COVID-19 terrorizes every facet of life. Government leaders and the world public think of the gravity of the situation and work so hard to stop the spread of the virus. Because of this effort, government leaders of each country impose various ways to discontinue the spread of the virus whatever means necessary.

The spread of corona virus popularizes new vocabularies. For example, each region in a country understands the concepts, such as “no face-mask – no entry policy,” “social distancing,” “quarantine,” “lock-down,” “one meter apart,” “stay at home,” and the like. Government leaders and health care officials often use these vocabularies and even create policies to implement to the public. As COVID-19 strikes globally, world leaders must respond to the crisis logically and systematically to ensure the safety of people.

In the Philippines, government leaders take actions and measures to treat COVID-19 patients. They implement rules to enforce community lock-down where only a few people can go outside to buy groceries. Only one of the family members can go outside; however, he or she has to wear a face-mask as “no face-mask – no entry policy.” When this person is outside or in the store, he or she has to maintain a social distance due to the social distancing policy. Wherever he or she goes, he or she has to maintain one meter apart due to one-meter-apart policy so that the COVID-19 cannot transmit to others.

However, the social distancing policy receives negative remarks from some people. For some people, they consider the social distancing policy funny since two people cannot go together. Even if they are couples who just walk outside, the police officers will blow a whistle onto them. At some point, the social distancing policy gets people stranded. Local and foreign tourists, for example, cannot go home to their point of origin. A lot of foreigners have to stay for days, weeks, or months for a month or so. Local people from other places cannot even go home due to lock-down or quarantine. The worst thing is that they cannot get support from the government due to complex criteria and measures of who can receive the Social Amelioration Program (SAP). Even if all people receive the kilos of rice and canned goods, those relief food packages are inadequate. Due to hunger and depression for one month and a half, some people kill themselves. Truly, some people respond to COVID-19 differently to their madness or their death.

Finally, some people try to contradict the government’s edicts. Somehow, they try to infringe on the government’s ordinances to stay at home. They go to the beaches and streets; however, they get imprisoned for doing so. Certainly, many people go to prison due to COVID-19. One day, news reports aired. Some people commit suicide. Out of frustration of the crisis, as well as the government’s lack of action to support the public, these people push the limit of their depression, frustration, and hunger. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) that distributes the financial and material support lacks logistics and consideration. The department selects those individuals who can receive financial aid – the SAP aid. The delivery of support services is too slow where the budget has been available. Because of this, people choose to end their lives due to the extreme frustration of the government’s actions. For these people, committing suicide is the only option to make to end their agony. Since they cannot find jobs because all systems, such as business, employment, and social interaction, stop, they cannot survive. They are hopeless. If the Philippine government leaders and the local government units and agencies want to attain the perfection of their functions and roles, they can still save lives apart from the COVID-19 patients.

In the Philippines, government officials work so hard to support others without thieving the money from the people’s taxes, and they save lives. They even beat the corona virus. However, some individuals in government do not think that way. They fail to facilitate support for the poorest of the poor. These government officials, perhaps, will just wake one day that they no longer have people to rescue. Those people that they want to help and rescue are no longer alive. They die from depression and hunger.