Bzzzzz: Man who jumped off Sotto hospital underwent ordeal of returning workers

PEOPLE talk about...

[1] CEBU CITY, MANDAUE CITY PROBABLY KEEPING GCQ STATUS after June 15. But many don't think there has been much difference. Even if a locality shifts to modified GCQ, movement of people will still be restricted, per IATF's June 4 amendment of the quarantine guidelines. Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella probably didn't know about the change of the rule when he announced earlier that he'd prefer the city to stay at GCQ.

Cebu City and Mandaue City are under GCQ until Monday. Cebu Province is currently under GCQ too but it has applied for shift to MGCQ starting June 12, which is this Friday.

[2] ANTI-TERRORISM BILLS 'NOT RELATED' TO COVID. Senate Bill #2204, then tagged as Anti-Terrorism Act of 2019, was filed last February 4, 2019, in the 17th Congress. The authors were senators Richard Gordon, Gregorio Honasan II, Vicente Sotto III, Panfilo Lacson and Loren Legarda. It was re-filed in the 18th Congress as SB #1083, whose provisions were adopted by the House last June 3. Lacson, as Senate defense committee chairman, sponsored it at the plenary session of October 1, 2019.

Covid-19 did not prompt the filing, at most it helped rush the bill's approval.

Problem of many employees

The story behind the death of a mall worker who last June 6 jumped off a building of Vicente Sotto hospital in Cebu City highlights the problem of many wage-earners reporting back for work after the shift of the city to general quarantine.

Workers were required to undergo Covid-19 test before re-admission to work. While the employer would pay for the cost of the test, employees were usually left on their own in meeting the requirement, as was the case of the suicide victim named Kim who was married with two children.

In a heart-tugging narration in Cebuano-Bisaya by broadcaster Rene Borromeo on Facebook Wednesday, June 10, Kim's wife "Lorena" said her husband had gone through the terrible ordeal of a man scrambling to meet the requirement of getting back to his job: how to move around with no or inadequate public transport. Like many others, he had to walk, in the dust and heat.

That must have been missed by the City Government and the private employer: the long, hard walk workers like Kim had to do to reach their workplace and, in this case, the swab test site (Mandaue City). Not enough buses were running and no jeepneys.

Social media complaint about policy makers not knowing the "reality on the ground" turned out to be valid in the Kim tragedy. Some people here and there must face some kind of conscience attack. It was not just the coronavirus that contributed to the death of "Kim."

Google dispels sadness

Note the concluding line in Borromeo's sad tale: "Alang kang Lorena, tungod sa kalit nga pagtaliwan sa iyang bana, igo na lang niyang handumon ang mga malipayon nilang panag-uban."

Read that with the Google translation. The last line, as translated: "For Lorena, because of the sudden fun in her bana, she will just take over their happy relationship."

The death diminishes us but grief is lost in the translation, which tickles the funny-bone.

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