By Ellson Quismorio
Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate has advised Metro Manila mayors to quell their constituents’ anxieties over the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic by being more “visible.”
Zarate said this Wednesday in reaction to complaints and posts regarding “missing mayors” that are flooding social media: “Dapat mag-step up at mag-step out sila (They need to step up and step out). This is the time that the people need decisive leadership from our executives, especially from the local governments.”
While Zarate didn’t name any local chief executive in particular, he said those being made the subjects of these posts–some of which are sarcastic and comedic–should go out and give their people “coherent and immediate guidance.”
He said Metro Manila mayors can use social media to address their constituents’ concerns, but insisted that their “actual presence would be better.”
“If they are not classified as PUI (person under investigation) or PUM (person under monitoring), actual presence in their localities [is needed] to assure the people that they can rely on government to be with them in these trying times,” explained the House Deputy Minority leader.
A PUI is a person with COVID-19-like symptoms who is not confirmed to have the virus. A PUM is a person who does not have COVID-19 symptoms but has been in contact with someone who is presumed or confirmed to have the virus.
Zarate also told LGU officials that their failings in this crisis “mean not only a failure of governance, but will also cost the lives of many of our people, particularly the many who are poor, vulnerable, and marginalized.”
Last Thursday, the Malacañang-ordered enhanced community quarantine took effect over Luzon. It is designed to restrict the movement of people in the quarantine area, with the aim of slowing down the contagion until such time that a vaccine is developed.
The COVID-19 virus originated in Wuhan, Hubei province, China. The Department of Health, however, said the virus has already triggered “community transmission” in the Philippines.
READ MORE: Entire Luzon under quarantine