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Make Cebuanos understand

Another spike in Covid-19 cases in Cebu City triggered Mayor Edgar Labella to increase the penalty for quarantine violators. For Labella, a fine of P500 or community service has not deterred many Cebuanos from violating quarantine protocols. The local police arrested 2,000 violators in January.

An ordinance imposing a fine of P1,000 will soon be implemented.

Before the mayor pushes on with this, perhaps he ought to look at the reasons of most violators.

Don’t they live in small and crowded dwellings unlike the mansion-like building the Labella family built in Mabolo? Were they not desperate on what to feed their families for their next meal? Perhaps, they prefer to risk getting the disease than die of hunger. Besides, why the prevalence of disbelief in the existence of the disease? The mayor should also see if most of those arrested can afford the P1000 fine.

Many have noticed that the Labella administration prefers punishments rather than addressing the reasons for going out amid the Covid-19 threat.

Constituents also ask about the extent the Labella administration has engaged in a comprehensive information and education campaign down to the grassroots. The kneejerk always involves police action and punishments.

But then, the mayor must refine his messaging.

For example, he sees the need to control the population to stay at home because he fears a higher spike in Covid-19 cases. His reason includes the fear of hurting the economy.

“Mao hangyoon tamo, mga kaigsuonan. Kay kung mobalik ta sa ECQ, simbako, magkalisod na sab ta. Transport wala na sab. So, I think duna pay higayon. Time is of the essence, let us be vigilant,” the mayor said. However, with most customers at home, who will buy goods and avail of commercial services? How can the poor earn money to be able to buy?

How can the population understand the need to stay at home while keeping the economy alive?

Please make us understand.