It’s facade all out there!

NOV. 4-10, 2010


By Cha Monforte

Davao Regional Hospital chief of hospital Dr. Romulo Busuego was sworn in Wednesday in Davao City as Dept. of Health asec (assistant secretary), a source said. Even with that high position in health department, he would still maintain as the DRH’s concurrent chief of hospital. That’s fine ‘doc since it’s you who have developed the hospital as it is now. Great. But we heard about the continued high prices of medicines in DRH’s botika, from where patients, especially the poor and indigents proximately buy the medicines prescribed by DRH doctors. We hope there’s no truth to the rumor that there’s shenanigan in the pricing of medicines there as we heard about complaining reputable suppliers of medicines to DRH booted out by its bidding’s stringencies- sometime ago.

In my news beating this week I stumbled another doctor (but he’s not my DRH source because he’s a politician)- Dr. Jesus Gaviola, ex-mayor of Carmen town. Without batting an eyelash, Dr. Gaviola said he would still take another crack for a mayoral comeback against incumbent second-termer Mayor Marcelino Perandos by 2013. That would be his second fight against Perandos who made so tangible physical facelift in the once flood-associated Carmen town during his first term (2007-2010). It’s still no surrender for Dr. Gaviola. He even put across a challenge if whether the development that has been occuring in Carmen is really that sustainable. It’s a facade all out there, he said.

After we met, I scoured my file, and found out that Dr. Gaviola in his first fight against the incumbent mayor in the last May 10 polls scored 3,985 votes while Perandos scored 21,769 votes. There’s a big margin of 17,784 votes all out there doc, and visibly it speaks of the unanimous decision of the judges- the people to the reigning champion Perandos in the political boxing arena of Carmen. But we know that people’s support does shift. If holders of reins of power fail to meet people’s further expectations,  their popularity sinks in, their integrity is eroded, their ways of handling things are questioned, and people look for alternatives. If development is awesomely for facade only, and people’s stomachs continue to be hungry while the minimum of their needs are not responded by the government, the LGU that is most near to them, people will start asking questions, poor farmers in the villages will murmur in tubaans, gamblers will poke fun to unresponsive politicians while playing in tong-intans, noted political priests (like Fr. Rex and Fr. Melvin), purok leaders and rah-rah boys will cajole a potential candidate, so then and there the unresponsive incumbent gets a big headache for his next reelection bid. Maybe Doc Gaviola is wrong yet in calling there’s facade all out there in Carmen, where he had his three straight terms as mayor. But with such long term of serving the town, maybe he’s right, too.

That “facade all out there” that Doc Gaviola said might also be true to DRH. Just this week while riding a bus I happened to sit beside a stranger, a mother bound to Rosario town in Agusan del Sur. She said she would be asking help from her good Rosario Mayor Jose “Pokloy“ Cuyos (that high-grader mayor, whom she said has “may malumong kasingkasing”). Her son, an intelligent and active student leader in high school, is now in comatose at DRH following a month of stay in a ward room after figuring in a motorcycle accident that had her son’s head broken. Her husband is unemployed, has no connection and is the one attending their son in the hospital while she has to scrounge for money around for his son’s medicines and mounting hospital bills that already reached close to P80,000. They’re now penniless and all of their friends and relatives have already been tapped for help while they are still at the hospital. She wailed over the high cost of hospitalization of a supposedly government hospital. Her son, she said, could have been healed fast and not fallen into comatose due to miningitis that crept in had the prior doctors not failed in injecting an anti-tetanus vaccines, and had she had all the money to buy the high-priced medicines in the DRH’s monopolizing botika. “May tag P3,000, tag P2,000 sa usa lang ka tambal, sus grabe gyod pagka mahal sa tambal sa Regional morag di gobyerno, OK lang ang room kay morag barato-barato,” she cried. When her son was not yet in comatose, he asked her mother, “Ma, tabangi ko ‘ma nga mabuhi.”. It really broke my heart. Now she has only the Heavens Above and Pokloy to hope on to sustain the precious life of her son. I left her with only a pledged prayers for her and her son when I alighted in Nabunturan. It’s not success stories all out there in DRH, doc asec. Maybe you get your position now for the heck of the facade of the DRH.           

BLOGS AND BITS: As we go to the press for this late edition, we heard of swift arrest made by still unidentified agents of the National Bureau of Investigation-Davao City to four traffic officers of Tagum City Traffic Management Unit. Reports said the NBI’s act this Thursday was a reprisal to the apprehension made by TCTMU Wednesday to a van owned by one of the arresting NBI agents. If this is true, the NBI’s arrest was done out of personal motive. But the same report said that the NBI agents cited violation of gun ban as the four traffic officers were accordingly unauthorized to carry .45 cal. handguns. Mayor Rey Uy said that the traffic officers are authorized by the city police to carry firearms as they help in the maintenance of peace and order in the city, and that the arrest was without reason just as it bypassed coordination of the city police. City police chief Giusseppe Geralde said that some of the Civil Security Unit personnel and traffic enforcers have been armed as they help in law-enforcement and they are facing varying threats to their lives. Now the mayor, who obviously felt insulted and challenged by the NBI’s arrest to some of his traffic officers, said that he is prepared to file illegal detention case to the still unidentified NBI agents. May cooler heads in the top echelon in government like national officials mediate in the current conflict between the tough mayor and a powerful NBI. Just what DILG PD Gregorio Versoza has been doing?. Or we just allow the law and the wheels of justice take its natural course. But was the NBI’s arrest really lawful? It looks like they’re taking the law in their own hands. But the NBI agents have accordingly proceeded with legal inquest in court against the arrested Tagum trafficmen. But first question first: Are NBI agents allowed by law to effect arrest without court warrants to traffic personnel who are also employed in the government? Traffic officers are most near to the gadget- guns, as government street sweepers are most near to the gadget- sweep and broom. We can’t expect trafficmen to tuck in grasshook.



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