A sad balikbayan tale
When they arrived at the airport, they (a couple from Baguio) they were shocked to find out that they could not be fetched by any relative. A contracted car by a government agency (the DOH or the DOT?) had to fetch them and they shelled out P2,500 for the trip from the NAIA to the hotel where they were quarantined. That was after shelling out P4,500.00 for the swab and RTPCR test at the airport done by a government contracted medical frim.
At the hotel, another shock. The rate was exorbitant but they did not have any choice. It was imposed on them. And then the food. They could not order from anywhere else through Grab or Food Panda, the food delivery services from restaurants, through which they could have been afforded many choices to suit their palates. As it was, they were limited to the restaurant rammed down their throats. Was it the hotel’s restaurant or an independent caterer? We did not get that one clearly.
And before they left the hotel, they were again swabbed and RTCPR tested. When the results were negative, they were allowed to travel to Baguio. All in all, they spent more than Php50K from the airport to Baguio City.
Since they are not young anymore and perhaps due to the stress of the long trip from the States, and the “hold-up” experience they went through, the husband got hospitalized, but not for covid, after a day or two in Baguio. And they had to be swabbed and RTPCR tested again.
As one columnist of a national daily pointed out, there are now new groups of cronies making a lot of money from the Covid-19 emergency situation.
Thus, some kibitzers argue that Covid-19 is all about business or money. And that the pandemic was actually “planned-demic”. No doubt, a lot of suppliers of goods and services for pandemic needs are getting filthy rich. Cornering the supply of such, including the importation thereof, is the name of the game. All those who have their sticky hands on that pie, do not want the pandemic to end.
Are some officials, especially those involved in the crafting of pandemic related policies, also having a taste of that pie?
If not, this would not be the Philippines.**