While everyone is now focused more on health and wellness, the safety of the people has been seemingly neglected.
The strictest lockdown – enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) – has been imposed several times over in the metropolis, resulting in the loss of jobs and livelihood.
It is okay if one has a deep pocket. But for the working class, the lockdown means no income to sustain the family’s daily existence. Unemployment rate, based on the latest data, soared to 8.1 percent in August, equivalent to 3.88 million jobless Filipinos, up from 6.9 percent or some 3.07 million the previous month.
ECQ and other variants were imposed with the best intentions. Not a moment sooner, criminality, some petty, has gone up. A close friend who lives in one of the condominiums around the Salcedo Village shared the alarming marked increase of robbery, theft, snatching, including kidnapping incidents.
The perpetrators, some riding in tandem while others are bold enough and armed with guns, do their wares in broad daylight. Anything and everything of value they can get their hands on they grab, from cell phones to bicycles, purses and handbags.
It used to be that condo-residents would walk safely, do their daily exercise – from brisk walking to jogging, drinking coffee or having a sip or two al fresco and do people watching without fear.
There’s paranoia. The latest reported incident, that spread like wildfire all over the community, happened on September 21 when riding in tandem held up at gunpoint three customers eating outside Ramen Nagi on Valero St.
The residents brought to the attention of Makati Mayor Abby Binay the rising criminality that victimized not only the condo-dweller but also the employees of business establishments in the area.
Now, checkpoints have been set up in strategic streets of Barangay Bel-air and Salcedo Village. Be alert, still!
Relatively, travellers will have to be more inquisitive in making their hotel bookings as some accredited hotels slap add-on charges. My friend’s sister Imelda and her two children went to visit their hometown in the Southern Philippines after 19 months.
In compliance with the local government unit’s requirement of quarantine, she booked a hotel at a rate of P1,500/night. Upon check-in, however, the hotel management informed her that there’s a P500/night “quarantine fee.”
However, not all government-accredited quarantine hotels impose this add-on charge. My cousin who just came home from Canada after a couple of months' stay did not pay any additional fees. Just for the room and food.
But as I said, we still have to be alert.
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