Manila mobilizes barangays vs COVID

Published November 17, 2020, 11:26 PM

by Manila Bulletin

Of 896 barangays in Manila, 73 were cited by the city government of Manila last week for having zero COVID-19 infections in the last two months. They received P100,000 each in city government funds approved by the city council.

Giving these funds to barangays was an idea of Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso. It is up to each barangay to spend the extra money in any way it sees fit. It could use it fund some long-delayed project. Or it could be used to further bolster the barangay’s defenses against the coronavirus.

While we congratulate the 73 barangays, we hope the rest of Manila’s 896 barangays will examine their individual situations and see what continue to cause their COVID-19 infections. Surely they too would like to receive the extra P100,000 from the city government, but they have to do their part.

The virus was originally brought into our country by someone from the outside, perhaps a visitor or a tourist. Such outside sources of infection were largely ended by the eight months of lockdown restrictions imposed by the national government since March.

Any new infections must now be coming from within the barangay itself. Perhaps some close neighbors enjoying a drink as in old times. Perhaps someone wanting to celebrate a birthday with a small gathering that happened to include someone with yet unmanifested symptoms The city government would not be able to check on such small gatherings, but the barangay can.

Metro Manila is now under the restrictions of a General Community Quarantine (GCQ) and could graduate to Modified GCQ at the end of this month. With all these restrictions, however, the city governments can only do so much. The ultimate responsibility still rests on each individual citizen and his family.

Mania’s system of rewards has now added barangays to the system of checking for violations. As weeks pass by, we hope more barangays will be able to join the 75 rewarded by the city government last week.

More to the point, we hope every individual will take on his share of the responsibility by being true to the restrictions developed by the World Health Organization and now adapted by us as with the basic formula of “Mask, Hugas, Iwas.”

Every means counts. Manila’s barangay reward system counts a lot. The early regional restrictions imposed by the national government as early as March. eight months ago, have helped tremendously in saving the country from the many thousands of deaths that continue to plague so many countries in Europe and the Americas to this day. But the ultimate responsibility lies with every individual person.