Palawan Plebiscite: The ‘nays’ have it

Partial and unofficial results of the plebiscite held last March 13, 2021 show that the majority of the people of Palawan do not want their province split into three. A total of 133,278 or 58.6% was delivered by those who opposed as against the 94,176 for those who favor.

The proposed division of Palawan. (Source: Felipe Aira and Hariboneagle927, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=98061427)

The plebiscite is a mandatory requirement for Republic Act No. 11259 or “An Act Dividing the Province of Palawan Into Three (3) Provinces, Namely: Palawan del Norte, Palawan Oriental, and Palawan del Sur” to take effect.

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IRA, pizza and the Palawan gerrymandering

As the plebiscite for the division of Palawan drew near, my piece “CamSur partition: It’s not the economy, stupid!“. It is expected because the dividing areas into political and administrative territories also have implications — some of them life changing. Unfortunately, and no matter where and how you look at it, these changes will only benefit politicians or those holding political power.

But if politics is addition why would these politicians opt to gerrymander?

File:Palawan Partition.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
The proposed division of Palawan. (source: https://commons.wikimedia.org)
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COVID-19 pandemic and the crisis in governance

The world is currently in chaos as apart from the COVID-19 pandemic, protests are happening here and there. Though the pandemic is not the direct cause, it is the trigger of at least three major crises — health crisis, social crisis, and economic crisis. Unfortunately, the same pandemic revealed another crisis — the crisis in governance.

Source: Khan et al, 2021
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Are Filipino officials using old age to avoid vaccination?

In a country with a high vaccine hesitancy, a high government official getting COVID-19 vaccine shots could make a change. Unfortunately, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and a number of his Cabinet officials are hiding in the cloak of old age to avoid getting inoculated.

In a country with a high vaccine hesitancy, a high government official getting COVID-19 vaccine shots could make a change. Unfortunately, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and a number of his Cabinet officials are hiding in the cloak of old age to avoid getting inoculated. Could this be because they also do not trust Coronavac, the vaccine developed by Beijing-based biopharmaceutical company Sinovac, which efficacy is reported at 50.4%?

The Philippines started rolling-out on Monday, March 1, 2021, its long delayed vaccination against COVID-19. Despite being the second hardest hit country in Southeast Asia, the Philippines is the last country to secure vaccine supply. Complicating this is the high vaccine hesitancy noted between 40% to 60%. In Metro Manila, for instance, only 25 percent are willing to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with 47% undecided and 28% firm of not getting inoculation. “Vaccine hesitancy” refers to the “delay in acceptance or refusal of safe vaccines despite the availability of vaccination services.”

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How heroes are treated under the Duterte Administration

Do heroes become heroes because of the level of sacrifices they faced? If so, should we add more burden to them so that they become more of the kind of heroes we want them to be?

Apparently, President Rodrigo Duterte’s “government of the best and the brightest” has an answer — yes to both. In this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, despite being considered as heroes, more and more burden are given to the health care workers (HCWs). These include delayed benefits and incentives accorded them by law, treating them like commodities in exchange for vaccines (though this was later denied by labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III), and making them lower class citizens compared to the military personnel and their families.

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on Pexels.com
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