CHAFF FROM THE GRAIN
By HECTOR R. R. VILLANUEVA
“We do not experience and thus we have no measure
of the disasters we prevent.” — J. K. Galbraith
In the national interest, there is a need to calibrate and moderate the tendency to sensationalize and overkill live average and debates of natural calamities and humanitarian problems vis-a-vis their impact, repercussion, and consequences on business, tourism, productivity, public morale, national security, and public safety.
In view of tee freedom of the press and democratic institutions and owing to the timidity of Cabinet members and bureaucrats, President Rodrigo Roa Dutetre, in the public interest, can tame, by firm friendly persuasion, the tendency of mass media and television to over-reach or exaggerate coverage of disasters.
The President can also urge government officials to be more proactive and persevering.
Moreover, to calm the public, President Duterte can summon or call on media ”owners”, not publishers, to rein in their overzealous staffers and reporters tin the public interest.
On one hand, the Philippines can count its blessings that natural disaster have been limited in scope and duration until the advent of the novel coronavirus compared to the intractable and vicious civil wars in Libya, Syria, and Iraq and the colossal conflagration and bushfires in Australia and California, with massive destruction and human tragedy.
There is no need to exacerbate or exaggerate localized disaster and discomfort by moving forward as soon as possible and get on with business, productivity, and employment as they usually do in other countries.
And, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte can do it, and bring tranquillity with alacrity.
As T. S. Eliot had opined, “Success s is relative. It is what we can make of the mess we have made of things.”
In brief, bearing in mind tourism, investors’ confidence, productivity, and businesses, government must be mobilized quickly to restore public confidence.
There has not been, thank God, a nationwide catastrophe like Haiti or Puerto Rico with Yolanda being the most devastating.
There has not been on insolvable crisis, whether it be African Swine Fever (ASF), SARS, dengue, polio, dengvaxxia scandal, or any other controversy, that was beyond solution.
What crisis? There is only panic and confusion in the treatment and containment of novel coronavirus which tends to be pandemic and global due to recklessness and negligence.
You be the judge.