It is a most difficult decision to strike a balance between flattening the curve of COVID-19 and the looming economic recession due to a wide swath of business inactivity.
Thus, it is better left to those who have almost unlimited access to all the relevant data to decide which is the best course of action to take moving forward.
Having said that, I am sure that if Congress is provided with all those data, we can help in the policy direction.
On the other hand, there is no perfect system of distribution of aid considering the number of families involved in the cash dole-out, further complicated by a less efficient database due to the late implementation of the National ID system.
Just as intelligence information can spell the difference between success and failure in my previous life in intelligence and law enforcement work, data is the key for our policy makers to make the right decisions at this critical time.
Definitely, the President’s warning to have “troublemakers” during the enhanced community quarantine shot was exaggerated and harsh. But coming from this President, what else is new?
However, having been immersed in intelligence and law-enforcement work for more than two decades in my previous life, I couldn’t help but suggest to authorities to thoroughly investigate if the “riot” in Quezon City involving protesters demanding aid – but in violation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine – was indeed a valid “hunger-driven” spontaneous act of people who simply lost their patience out of exasperation, or a politically instigated act of violence by sinister groups out to take advantage and destabilize the administration and duly constituted authority.
As such, concerned authorities may opt to look into the possibility that Wednesday’s incident could be a “dry run” to test public sentiment as well as the ability of law enforcers to respond. At least one group, Kadamay, has posted on its Facebook page an “invitation” to an event scheduled for April 1.
There is no saying however, that all protests during the ECQ should be presumed as politically instigated. Yet, it cannot be denied that there may be groups with motive to exploit the volatility of the situation to advance their own political agenda.