Why the Philippines makes bad decisions

[Photo source: Bloomberg News]

By Joe America

Social media have been filled with complaints from citizens about lack of transparency from the Department of Health (DOH) regarding the coronavirus. The complaints have returned defensive remarks from DOH officials about the hard work being done.

This exchange is instructional because it reminds us that we are in Asia, but trying to think in Western logic.

Westerners make an effort to raise science to the forefront of decision-making and suppress our natural tendency to defend ourselves, emotionally, if things are not going our way. Accountability is the process of looking at facts forthrightly and recognizing if shortcomings exist or mistakes have been made. That way they can get corrected. One’s ego ought to be strong enough to recognize that decisions are not people, they are not us, they are decisions. And we trust that our boss and comrades will also see that a mistake is a mistake, not a personality flaw.

A track record of mistakes is a different issue.

The Asian tradition is more focused on face . . . or emotional well-being . . . and subordinating the facts to officials’ need to stay well-regarded. A mistake is a personality flaw. Loss of face is a disaster, personally. So China suppressed information about the spread of the coronavirus in Wuhan. And people are worried that the same thing is going on in the Philippines. Is DOH trying to preserve its reputation rather than ordering up hundreds of thousands of testing kits?

Well, we see the same excuse-making and blaming all the time from government in the Philippines as the facts of the matter are shifted away to others. To enemies.

But the truth of the matter is that government is generating a track record of mistakes.

  • Marawi
  • Build build build
  • Drug war failure
  • Loss of seas
  • Cops dealing drugs
  • Pogos and related problems: immigration corruption, money-laundering, etc.

Those who think in western terms . . . the yellows, in the main . . . are crying out for accountability, and the Administration is busy blaming them, and other culprits, or making up excuses.

You never hear the simple statement, “Yes, that was a bad decision. Let’s correct it.” You hear the excuses. The bad works continue, uncorrected.

Speaking simplistically, the main drift for an Eastern nation that cannot learn to search for and identify accountability is toward banana republic. The main drift for a Western nation that seeks accountability is productivity. Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan have bridged the gap. Their government policies are westernized. Their productivity is superb.

The Philippines would do well to decide which model is correct for the nation, its leaders, and its citizens. The coronavirus incident is a good place to show which model holds sway.

Are we more concerned about taking care of people’s health? Or being liked?


100 Responses to “Why the Philippines makes bad decisions”
  1. karlgarcia says:

    Bad decision to allow China in, now we invited the whole Triad and PLA commandos.

    Bad idea to shame Aquinos slow approval of projects only to fall into debt diplomacy.

    Bad idea to question Yolanda only to do worse in Marawi.
    Bad idea to question Mamasapano and Luneta Hostage taking only to have Bohol, Green Hills, etc.

  2. karlgarcia says:

    From Rockefeller to Bill Gates. If they are not hosting Tesla, and cozying up to Amazon,Musk and Bezos would be in those conspiracy theories.

  3. Pablo says:

    Surprised?? Philippines is a “democracy” where the elected officials are totally unaccountable. Even in China, the situation is better where Weibo creates a form of control. Philippines has none of that.
    A local (3rd generation) Chinese businessman told me ‘matter-of-fact’ that the Chinese are taking over Philippines because the locals cannot govern. Although it shocked me, upon consideration, I am afraid he might be correct.

  4. NHerrera says:


    Almost everyone from top to bottom in all sectors are caught in a Prisoner’s Dilemma. Instead of cooperating in rational way which will result in all being uplifted, greed, with some amount of fear, drives almost everyone, even at the expense of kissing the a.. of those above. Especially as the invited foreign exploiter or puppet master aids in the process.

  5. karlgarcia says:

    I thought Customs, BIR,DPWH were the most corrupt, Immigrations beat all of them combined.

  6. popoy says:

    P A T O K na PATOK

    He came positive to public service
    He was a lion in the US business jungle
    He is NOT hungry and KNOWS
    By experience feasibility, viability
    And profitability for his country.

    He cannot be compared
    To a hungry public sector bureaucrat
    Inexperienced Inferiors hate him.

    He is Patok na Patok.


  7. Joe, i’m gonna continue my stream of thought on Psychedelics here and attempt to connect it to the coronavirus pandemic.

    So from Michael Pollan’s book (from a few comment threads awhile ago) is mentioned this cutting end study that pretty much opened further the doors on psychedelic research,

    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnhum.2014.00020/full (READ!)

    The entropic brain: a theory of conscious states informed by neuroimaging research with psychedelic drugs

    “Entropy is a dimensionless quantity that is used for measuring uncertainty about the state of a system but it can also imply physical qualities, where high entropy is synonymous with high disorder. Entropy is applied here in the context of states of consciousness and their associated neurodynamics, with a particular focus on the psychedelic state. The psychedelic state is considered an exemplar of a primitive or primary state of consciousness that preceded the development of modern, adult, human, normal waking consciousness. Based on neuroimaging data with psilocybin, a classic psychedelic drug, it is argued… “

    i figured, NH , would especially love the use of ‘entropy’ here.

    So not so long before this paper above (2014) neurologists discovered the DMN , or default mode network, essentially the parts of the brain that’s ON for our normal waking consciousness.

    When this study above was undertaken, they figured psychedelics would light up the brain. that was the assumption.

    As it turned out, psychedelics doesn’t light up the brain, it in fact turns off certain portions, namely the DMN, leaving ‘on’ only the central parts operating.


    The DMN is like the conductor in an orchestra, take him out of commission for awhile, and the percussion section is banging away crazily , the wood winds doing their own thing, the dude holding the triangle is now juggling, brass is playing jazz, and the entire string section leaving behind their strings, is now in a torrid orgy with the single dude playing French horn (we’ll call that metaphor synesthesia ).

    the researchers posit that maybe this type of chaos (entropy ) needs to happen now and then as release valve for the brain. therein lies the value of pyschedelics.

    But then they also wondered if too much order , too much DMN, is the cause of abnormal behaviour. They posit fear, depression, addiction, paranoia, autism , other psychological maladies, is exactly what happens when the conductor (DMN) becomes a tyrant. So imagine DU30 (or Trump) as DMN of your brain.

    As arguments go, pretty compelling. Makes sense to me. But read the entire paper, there’s more, that’s just me summarizing for this next point below i wanna make.

    Now, let me connect this to coronavirus… 😉

    In just a matter of a week, when last i went to Costco (i went yesterday again), empty shelves. I actually wanted to get more Vitamin D3 (just in case the Vitamin C and deep breathing/vibration don’t cut it , LOL!).

    So using the results of the above study,

    it’s pretty obvious now that some group paranoia is happening and everyone’s DMN (who’s main purpose is survival after all) is now on over drive. Performing EJKs on other parts of the brain that i’m sure is telling it hey take some Psychedelics or marijuana and relax, and attempt to tell it

    LOOK AT ALL THIS IN CONTEXT, forchrissakes!

    Well, no more context because every media outlet is covering the pandemic.

    Solution is to have everyone take psychedelics, so they can escape their DMN even for only 30 to 60 minutes, and realize hey there are other stuff that my brain can also pre-occupy itself with, both worries and joys.

    So i think one way to avert all this panic buying and useless worries is for the media outlets to cover other pandemics out there, for example

    1). Start tallying up flu infections and deaths.

    2). Start tallying up vehicle/vehicle and vehicle/pedestrian injuries and deaths.

    3). Start tallying up firearms injuries and deaths.

    That’s just 3 (i guess over there you can include EJKs too), but you guys get the point. Sabotage that positive-feedback loop of panic and fear generated by the DMN and place it in a wider context. Realize that the DMN might be leading us all astray.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Psychedelics are hallucinogens, once grasp of what is real is a primary risk of escaping pain and depression by seeing, hearing,feeling what is not really there.

      • karlgarcia says:

        They make you insist on memories that never happened.

        • This is a good question , karl, worthy of an academic paper.

          Do psychedelic induced experiences create false memories?

          But based on what i’ve read, once you go back to your DMN status, you know exactly what you hallucinated, vis a vis your real experience. this is if you’re normal,

          also i’d think if you were already damaged in the head, ie. schizophrenic, autistic, etc. your DMN won’t be “normal”, thus won’t be able to differentiate fact from fiction.

          So, for normal brains, they’d know up from down, sort of like when you wake up, you’ll know your dreams from reality.

          Though i’d like to know for sure if this would be possible. Very interesting.

          • karlgarcia says:

            You know the dejavu feeling where you think that you have experienced something that you just ecoerienced for the first time, how do you explain that?

        • karlgarcia says:

          As I disclosed a lot of times that I have bipolar disorder, so psychedelics may help people like me, once the proponents convinced most of their peers.


          • So you are talking about a reverse de ja vu, karl? instead of hmmmmmmm… i’ve done this before , to this is the first time i’ve done this!

            As for psychedelics for bipolar, i’m sure it’ll help. like depression, bipolar is just the swinging of up to downs, vice versa. based on the above paper, the DMN would be the main culprit here, with loops upon loops traversing the same network.

            So if you’d put on pause your own DMN, it would squelch said moods, then other paths will present itself. it’s the realization of new paths, new consciousnesses, that they say is the cure, it’s not a chemical cure, karl. you don’t take psychedelics like medicine,

            you take it to discover new ways (better ways) of being. You should definitely ask around over there, if there are doctors doing similar studies on psychedelics, or maybe write to American or European studies, inviting them to Philippines.

            It seems, Leary was right all along , karl, and i’ve noticed his videos available in youtube, as he gets older the brighter he seems— other addictions don’t do this, other drugs eat you up alive.

            My point, it’s worthy of a looksy. Don’t rely on past biases. Google this then reach out to researchers.

            Now to connect this to coronavirus, let’s be clear it will kill off a bunch of people, mainly the sick and aged. Accept this.

            The problem over there is that these old folks tend to be the reservoir of wisdom their both individual and cultural.

            So now more than ever the Philippines will need to access other means of wisdom, surely it is not religion over there, nor humanism/academia, nor leaders. The philippines is more western than not, thus is already primed to test out psychedelics again– i’m sure in the 70s it was there, but

            with new findings it has to be revisited. This pandemic will turn the world topsy turvy, Karl. the upside to psychedelics is compelling.

            read this book:

            “The Spanish flu pandemic, which killed at least 50 million people, has remained something of an enigma, not only because scientists are still unsure about why it was so lethal, but because it’s a hugely significant world event that for decades seemed to have been largely forgotten.

            Pale Rider sets out to change this; it’s both a saga of tragedies and a detective story. At the end of the war, among weakened soldiers and undernourished populations, flu appeared as a shocking and unheralded visitor, and spread with alarming speed. Its victims reported dizziness, fevers, lethargy and coughing up blood; for at least two out of every 100 people who caught the bug, the outcome, within weeks, was death; especially vulnerable were those aged between 20 and 40.

            There were no tools available to identify the invisible agent of disease. We now know that the flu virus is a parasite that needs the host cell of another living organism in order to reproduce. In human hosts the desired cells are those lining the lung. Once reproduction is complete, the replicated virus must leave the host, be carried in the air, and infect another, if it is to thrive.”

            (thanks to chemp for the nudge towards this subject )

            • karlgarcia says:

              Medical Marijuana is for passage, I guess.
              Our doctors usually get seminar sponsorships from US based pharma (big pharma), Am sure it will come up.
              Back to Covid.
              This corona virus us a massive propaganda campaign.

              • From my readings, big pharma won’t be interested in psychedelics, karl. For two reasons,

                1). patents of say mescaline, psylocin and lsd are expired, can’t make money off it.

                2). it’s not one of those take once, twice or three times a day kinda pill.

                It’s non addictive, chemically speaking (just like marijuana) though the trips/highs themselves (ie. , experience thereof) may be. but from regulars who take psychedelics they do so at most (on average) once a month.

                Tim Leary was taking psychedelics once a week (arguably the most consistent user to date). Can you imagine taking shabu , or heroine, or cocaine, once a week???!!! you’ll get laughed at by your peers.

                So re the articles you shared below re mushrooms, the links arent’ opening for me. Ask two questions,

                1) dosage?

                2) how often?

                maybe a third question

                3) eyes open or eyes closed (because eyes closed w/ a trained guide is the prefered method).

                As for coronavirus, notice that 20-40 yr old target range for Spanish flu above, i’m still wondering why news outlets aren’t specifying age (along with health history). Once deaths include 20-40 yr olds, then we have a problem.

                Like I said awhile back, karl, Americans don’t like being herded like cattle, so it’ll get more worst here. A lot worst. My throats kinda scratchy of late, maybe you can get coronavirus from bad news coverage on TV. 😉

              • karlgarcia says:

                Without big Pharma, say goodbye to your psychedelic world.

    • So, this is the graph used in the book , another metaphor is of the DMN as interstate highway system over here, big wide roadways, with cars doing 80 mph, zipping thru, you don’t really see much, but you get to where you wanna get quick.

      Now, imagine closing down the interstate highways, forcing cars to take instead surface streets, back-roads and dirt roads, you end up seeing more. But you get there slower.

      Once the DMN is back on , you don’t necessarily forget that there are back-roads and dirt roads, that you can in fact go 4×4 or hell even just hiking thru. In essence,

      the DMN is the box, and once you shut it off, you’re now thinking outside the box. Therein lies the creativity and novel ideas , psychedelics are known for.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Novel ideas for the novel corona virus.

        • Speaking of novel ideas, this was a good read: https://www.psypost.org/2017/05/study-finds-people-use-psychedelic-drugs-tend-liberal-48966

          “In this state the sense of ‘self’ that pervades normal waking consciousness is reduced, and may disappear completely,” Nour wrote over e-mail.

          This state is termed “ego dissolution,” he explained. “We found that people who reported the most intense past ego dissolution experiences on psychedelics also rated higher on openness, liberalism, and nature-relatedness. This is important because it shows that it may be something about the psychedelic experience itself that is related to these personality traits and attitudes.”

          Nour is quick to establish that correlation doesn’t equal causation, in regard to psychedelics and liberalism. “Our study, for example, is correlational and doesn’t provide evidence for a causal link between psychedelics and a certain political viewpoint,” he said. He suggests it’s possible that liberals may be more likely to try psychedelics in the first place, so it’s a self-selecting group.


          Though that would be another good study, get a bunch of DU30 supporters, anti-Yellows, have them trip on LSD, etc. and see if they become Yellows. 😉 My hunch is that it is in fact causation, not mere correlation.

          Your mind is more open to other thought processes, having undergone essentially that graph above. from interstates to back-roads. Equals more empathy and openmindedness.

    • karlgarcia says:

      The mushroom psychedelics was a hit 4 years ago, as of now they are illegal.


      • karl,

        My point about big pharma is that these guys are not necessary for psychedelics, sure they’ll try to cock-block psychedelics in favor of their crap, which are psychotropic drugs you’ll have to take every day, which all sorts of side effects.

        Consider that there are already 4 known species of magic mushrooms over there, in the Philippines, one i forget which is considered pretty strong.

        3 or 4 cacti , on of which is Peyote, contain mescaline.

        LSD was Sandoz manufactured, but also derived from fungus.

        Then you got plants and frogs that contain DMT (this is the newer explored stuff now, though they knew a bit about it in the 60s too).

        So my point, farmers and growers can totally satisfy need and demand, and better yet karl something that can be localized no need for big int’l conglomerates. Hell , you karl could start growing these mushrooms. Here’s one that endemic in Luzon, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copelandia

        I don’t know if you can grow cacti there, but try it. I’m sure you’ll find that local species of plants and toads will probably contain DMT there, the toads you capture said animal extract gingerly their secretions, then let them go.

        but i think for a tropical nation, focus on what’s easy to grow and endemic there. Focus on mushrooms. UP Los Banyos should be doing research on local magic mushrooms, no need to wait for American or European schools and research. spearhead Philippine psychedelic research.

        if i were a psychiatrist/biologist at Los Banyos, i’d get a bunch of DU30 supporters , let them drink magic mushroom tea (proper dosage), have them close their eyes, make them focus on DU30 as their champion, then figure out if indeed people who are on psilocybin do become

        1). More compassionate

        2). Open minded

        3). Less violent

        karl, that’s a study that can only be done in the Philippines, yet relevant to the world !!!

        Then , another study more relevant to coronavirus now…

        I’d get a bunch of Filipinos suffering from paranoia due to said virus pandemic, same as above, then test if their paranoia is contained after magic mushrooms.

        This is something UP Los Banyos can do, both cultivation of endemic species of magic mushrooms and study of effects, then share to the world. You’d be the only nation outside of America and Europe doing this study. on the ground floor, karl.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Forget about dosage and frequency of use, they are so accessible in the provinces they are worse than otc meds.

          Secretary Leonor Briones warned authorities that some high school students are turning to deadly psychedelic mushrooms as alternative to illegal drugs.

          Briones on Friday expressed alarm over reports she received that some high school students were hospitalized after consuming mushrooms that have hallucinogenic properties.

          “I know three high school students who were hospitalized and brought to the ICU (intensive care unit) because they ingested these wild mushrooms they got from somewhere,” she said at a press conference after the two-day summit on the rights of the child in education.

          “We should be looking into this because young kids are looking for drug substitutes,” she added.

          The secretary did not provide details on the students who were supposedly hospitalized, but noted that they obtained the mushrooms by looking for it “on the hills.”

          “These mushrooms are not forbidden by law. These are accessible (especially in rural areas),” she added, noting the long tradition of using hallucinogenic mushrooms in rituals and ceremonies.

          But she stressed the need to address the problem as there are studies showing the dangerous effects of these mushrooms.

          “We have to look into this. It could be more dangerous because it’s not illegal, because it’s easier to find in the countryside,” she added.

          • “These mushrooms are not forbidden by law. These are accessible (especially in rural areas),” she added, noting the long tradition of using hallucinogenic mushrooms in rituals and ceremonies.

            I’m curious if there really is a “long tradition” now, karl.

            If so… Which indigenous/ lumads there, and how do they do it. if like in Mexico and South America and there is an actual rite of passage or “journey” undertaken when using these, then it would be very interesting– that lumad Filipinos have just as rich a tradition as their South American counterparts. i’d not known of any so far, karl.


            I’m surprise Briones is vilifying this. Please forward all these studies to her office for me, karl.

            • https://www.arcgis.com/apps/MapJournal/index.html?appid=fcd510199eba457c8fdff848a2412bd7

              this link is better, karl. The Huichol journey terrain map and significance. i hope they document similarly Filipino lumads’ myths, stories and traditions with these mushrooms.

              Sec. Briones should make this a teaching moment.

              • Could be President Duterte is already taking your advice, LCPL_X!

                But as to really the wherewithals of how this idiotic dreams of virus translated here in our country and to the world.. – now how about that for expanded consciousness de luxe, including Zen meditations in a state of delirium?

              • They’re now saying incubation period is more like a month, that many go w/out symptoms, that some get hit hard end up in the ICU, some only with a cough and a sneeze.

                This virus, whether 1st world or 3rd world, will kill period. there’s nothing to do.

                kasambahay mentioned reverse engineering test kits and other medical devices to help combat the spread. I’m simply saying forego all that, people are going to die regardless (this isn’t ebola, fast/deadly, this is slow/steady virus, the virus has already won).

                So pivot to a new field, one that’s already endemic there (magic mushrooms native to Philippines), one that’s already in use based on karls 2 articles above from A to D type people in the Philippines, one that really doesn’t need a lot of tech to study, just a lot of test subjects and hypotheses for said tests, and that

                is psychedelics. PSYCHEDELICS.

                From karl’s 2 articles , it looks like rich kids are using it as some avantgardE drug from the West (mimicry whats new), and poor kids in the province picking up magic mushrooms because its cheap (no money no honey).

                What are you gonna do ban mushrooms that grow in carabao poop?

                you have a population now ripe for studying. Teach them how to dose and how to trip properly (with a guide, with eyes closed), AND BOOM! you have EXACTLY what the current psychedelic renaissance contain so far in academia over here, has wished for,

                you’ll essentially be the Huichol of the world. No need for already existing rites and traditions really, just go into trips then record, document and quantify that’s the science,

                There’s three prongs ripe for exploration:

                1). therapeutic (for those suffering non-psychotic maladies, like bipolar, etc. , schizos and psychotics don’t do too well under psychedelics)

                2). spiritual (not exclusive from 1 above, but here Filipinos could focus on non-institution type spirituality, ex. why is everyone experiencing uniformly this sense of love and grace??? ).

                3). creativity (this can be based out of Cebu City)

                If DU30 can easily do EJKs, he can hypothetically make the Philippines into the psychedelic capital of the world. That’s a niche worthy of exploration. Suspend all past biases, focus on the upside here. this will expand geriatrics studies, since Filipinos are expert in caring for old people around the world.

                UP Los Banyos and Cebu City are right there poised to lead this charge.

                p.s. ~ most people that try psychedelics end up becoming vegans or vegetarians, for sure meat intake becomes less. With this coronavirus pandemic, notice India being mostly vegans no outbreak? it’s also good policy to convert your population to less-meat eaters, not more.

                Ireneo, SO

                To re-cap, DU30 can’t do anything about coronvirus; but he can do something about PSYCHEDELICS. also, keep in mind the definition of a drug is that it either brings you down, or takes you up, uppers and downers… psychedelics like magic mushrooms does neither. So technically psychedelics are not drugs.

            • karlgarcia says:

              Galleon trade and Mexicans who settled here brought them here, but maybe like in other places, they existed for a thousand years, who knows?


              • That Galleon trade angle, is interesting karl.

                But based on the spread and variety of species of these magic mushrooms, i’d side with these mushrooms being already endemic over there. They are found (variety of species) around the world. But i’m open to hearing about the Galleon trade connection.

                As for the article you’ve linked to, who’s the writer?

                from article:

                “I became alarmed that she had been introduced to this drug. So I probed. She revealed that her companions put something in her drink which she was told came from a mushroom.

                I told her that Ayahuasca was not a mushroom. The psychedelic mushrooms were peyote and San Pedro, which were used by Mexican shamans during religious ceremonies. The main component of these mushrooms was mescaline, a hallucinogenic chemical.” Not quite accurate.

                The active compound in magic mushrooms is psilocin. Found world wide.

                Peyote and San Pedro are cactus, active compound is mescaline. Found in Mexico.

                Ayuhuasca is from the Amazon forest. the writer is correct active compound is DMT.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Jimmy Licauco, a hypnotist, a paranormal “expert” among others.

        • ~ p.s. , karl… referring to that same article you shared, the author said something about having a shaman with said tradition as being necessary.

          Though everyone agrees set and setting is necessary, and having an experienced guide too (preferably one who holds a professional degree in anthropology or psychology at the very least).

          But no need for anyone to play shaman, here’s why (from Pollan’s book), just give the psychedelic, that’s all:

          • I have to add this page too from the Pollan book (bare w/ me i’m almost done reading it), also mention the rat park experiment here,


            “In 1979, Bruce Alexander, a researcher at Simon Fraser University, separated rats into two cages, a stimulating one and an isolated one, and gave them morphine in order to measure the effect of environment on addiction rates.

            The so-called “Rat Park” experiment was intended to debunk some of the flawed understanding around addiction at the time, specifically the notion that the drug itself was the most important factor in whether someone became addicted. The rats in both cages became physically dependent on the morphine, but the Rat Park rats consumed less morphine than the group in the boring cage.

            “Addiction isn’t you — it’s the cage you live in,” Alexander concluded.

            The Rat Park study was flawed in its design and its findings, however, and it was ignored for almost three decades — until a group of experts rediscovered and started promoting it around 2008. The Rat Park study undermined one popular misconception about addiction, that chemistry of drugs is the single most important factor in addiction. But instead of pushing the popular understanding forward, it merely replaced that misconception with a new one: that environment is the most important factor.

            Unfortunately, addiction isn’t that simple. The idea that there is nothing inherently dangerous about drugs — specifically opioids — is inaccurate. And with the opioid epidemic spreading throughout the country, it’s potentially dangerous.”


  8. karlgarcia says:

    If in real life I am receptive to corrections like I am in the internet then I could have avoided verbal quarrels.
    Filipinos always make palusot.
    Pag may butas magpapalusot.
    If there is hole or an opening you will squeeze in like an octopus
    I guess that is why we have too many lawyers, but few judges,we seek loop holes and we are poor judges of character.

  9. karlgarcia says:

    We are now in Code Red meaning hospital staff will work in double shifts or even triple shifts from now on.

    • Is that what it means? Seems to me they should be recruiting a whole lot of trackers to find contacts, and a whole lot more testing kits, and get some beds made.

      I think this will be a disaster soon. These people don’t think in terms of goals and deadlines. They just record after the fact.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Disaster indeed. From what I read, it is for hospital personnel to report to the hospitals to prepare for the worst.

        DOH questioning companies for bypassing them in announcing cases, i.e. The Delloite employee.
        I find nothing wrong unless they were announcing false information.

        People are seeing that if in the US, they still lack testing kits, what more the Philippines who imports everything. Vietnam can produce their own why can’t we?

          • kasambahay says:

            as well, filipinos habitually self medicate and buy medicines off the shelves and over the counter; over confident, and think they know their own bodies better than doctor. and most only see doctor when things get worse, far worse. and then, blame doctor for bad outcome.

            there is also stigma attached; letting people know they’re infected with the virus could well mean being made social outcast, looked down and made to feel pariahs and scourge of the earth. those thought to have the infection are avoided at all cost. friends who value their own lives will keep their distance and disappear. coronavirus causes havoc, lot of disruptions and put lives and finances in turmoil.

            and then, infected people could resort to telling lies, that they got the virus like the immaculate conception got the divine baby. swear they have not been to high risk countries, not been in contact with anyone from risk countries, that they’re innocent and lead clean and pure lives and dont know how the nasty virus got in their system.

            or they could well be innocent bystanders that stayed too close to infected persons and gotten infected.

            • kasambahay says:

              our clever people from UP can surely make testing kits by deconstructing available kits and reproducing them. forget about intellectual property and patents for the time being and just do more kits. worry about infringements later.

              but if we lack the materials needed for making testing kits, problematic talaga yan. most of our raw materials are exported to china and other countries.

              sadly, health budget has been cut back. the spirit is willing but the pocket is certainly not.

              I heard amended health budget is around the corner, just around the corner. too close yet too far. additional health fund is approved kuno, but where in the name of the blasted virus is the money? where, where?

            • Micha says:

              There’s no point in blaming patients or victims if there’s an outbreak. What needs to happen is a massive government intervention to contain it.

              Italy is already planning to restrict the movement of a fourth of its population. It will require huge government deployment of logistics and medical resources. Communal life and routines will be temporarily interrupted – jobs, schools, churches, malls, sports events, etc – at a minimum of 3 months.

              It will entail significant contraction in economic activity. Airlines and cruise ship industry, for example, are currently bleeding. Stock markets are going south.

            • “..being made social outcast, looked down and made to feel pariahs and scourge of the earth..” being called dilawan you mean? That is a fate worse than death or leprosy!

              Seriously, Philippines society stigmatizes very quickly. Mabuti pa kami rito sa Europe walang hiya, according to Teddy Boy Locsin mabaho pa dahil bihira maligo, but at the same time we kneeled before him so the Philippines will allow us to lend them money again.

              There is a mythology old as resilience that Filipinos are more resistant to disease than whites because they are always exposed to dirt and germs. The myth that Westerners are more prone to mental illness is already debunked, or are all the crazy just dilawans?

              • kasambahay says:

                I enjoy being dilawan po. those tomatoes thrown at me, I save them for gazpacho/mulligatawny. and if I stand at street corner waiting for traffic light to change, people sometimes throw coins at my feet. thank you po. must be my hair, looks much like dr agnes callamard’s, she who 1st raised the ire of the nation’s crazy numero. the lady is mabaho kuno, her perfume hermes po.

                numero uno crazy now dont want anyone to touch him, fearful of coronavirus. mayhap one is allowed to cough near him and fill the divine wind around him with what he fears the most. he fits the criteria kasi, matanda, may sakit at madaling m – – – tay.

                anyhow, we on the fringes do get sick despite being resilient, and insist we are sick even if we are not. there are times though when we are really really sick, doctors would not want to see us, so we shamed sickness and sent it gasping and moaning back to its hellhole. see you later, alligator.

                “are all the crazy just dilawans?” sunflowers are just as crazy po, they keep looking at the sun.

        • kasambahay says:

          lacson should his constituents first and foremost to report to medical authorities at the 1st signs of suspicious symptoms instead of waiting for next day or day after tomorrow for they got more impt things to do like stashing money and hiding them.

          gotta hide all that money for things could get worse, the economy bottoms out and money harder and harder to come by. the chinese and the rodriguez are trying to hide their money here albeit illegally but got caught. now there is possibility they could lose all except the 1st 10K. they can keep the 10K but all others may have to be surrendered if it cannot be proven the money is not proceed of crime, drugs, money laundering, etc.

          the chinese and the rodriguez cannot all be saying bigay sa kanila yong pera for them to buy watches! making use of euro generals’ excuse when caught in moscow with too much cash euros.

          okay, lacson, babe, tell your constituents to report to medical authorities instead of pointing the fingers at doh for underreporting. hard for doh to do headcount (statistics) of people who dont report to them. people are takot yata, that once they get into hospitals, the only time they can get out is when they’re dead! I should not say that, I should not . . .

          likewise, let us not force doh to follow sws, where duterte’s rating is always on the all times high, haha.

          • karlgarcia says:

            Rodriguez who?

          • kasambahay says:

            medyo disclaimer lang po ito: there are two kinds of patients po. public patients and private patients.

            public patients of public hospitals are automatically entered into the system and are not given much choice but to acquiesce. doh can keep keen eyes on them all the time.

            kaso, I’m hearing that private doctors treating private patients are hard pressed to give in to private patient’s request for anonymity, to keep them out of the system and for them to be treated under false name. apparently, doh has no jurisdiction over private patients. doh is dependent on private doctors graces and goodwill to do the right thing, inform doh of further developments, fill in doh’s statistical report in a timely manner and to actually send in stats report rather then keep them in filing cabinets and conveniently forget about them.

            and if private doctors do things to the contrary, refused to cooperate and provide doh with much needed info and statistics, private doctors are within their right to do so, putting their private patients privacy and confidentiality above all.

            so far as I know, the only time private doctors forgo private patients anonymity and confidentiality is when there is subpoena and court case.

          • But screening criteria are that you have to show you were in touch with a person having the disease. So you don’t get tested if you can’t. You get sent to the doctor to spread the disease in the crowded hallways. That’s also what Italy did, which is why the disease exploded out.

            • With 100 million citizens, the Philippines a few days ago had only tested 600.

            • NHerrera says:

              I just visited JHU Dashboard on covid-19 and got the numbers below. [Note that JHU refers to John Hopkins University and the dates refer to US Eastern date.] The format of the table corresponds to Date, Official total of confirmed cases outside of Mainland China, and the Daily increase.

              What is remarkable, among others, is the March 07 increase of 4k which is about the the maximum daily increase reached by the confirmed cases in Mainland China in February.

              Yes, the confirmed cases, while abating in Mainland China — at least officially — are on a rampage worldwide. Portends of a disaster indeed. And the blame game is on the increase too, not only in the Philippines.

              March 01 8,500 1,700
              March 02 10,300 1,800
              March 03 12,700 2,400
              March 04 14,900 2,200
              March 05 17,500 2,600
              March 06 21,200 3,700
              March 07 25,200 4,000

              • NHerrera says:

                A perfect storm considering at least these contributors:

                – The collapse of a building in China being used to quarantine those infected with covid-19;
                – The cases in South Korea, Italy, Iran with their social habits of beso-beso [religious practices in the cases of SK and Iran];
                – In the Care Center in the US’ Washington State, caring for the most vulnerable, the elderly.

            • Mobile teams to get the test material or test centers is the way many places in Germany are going to separate the flow of people. They didn’t send them to the same waiting room anyway even before. Some hospitals have phones like for visitors in prisons.

        • Yes, I read that. He’s being nice.

    • josephivo says:

      Listening to the Swiss TV is so refreshing. Only specialist with public health degrees and ample experience in pandemics giving context and explaining. Reporters citing facts, doing interviews with relevant witnesses followed by the expert defining the terms mentioned, giving context and advise.

      e.g. Talking about school closures. First the difference between prevention and. Then the pro’s and con’s of closing schools with e.g. the danger of infected children – normally with no symptoms- being attended by vulnerable elderly – namely grandparents. The factors that should influence the decision and the local differences. Also what other countries have done. All of this calming down by giving me the feeling that I have more relevant information for a balance decision.

      Compare with the reporting on CNN, the bulk of the Corona virus fragment being an interview with a very emotional woman who’s mother is on the cruise ship and the poor old lady might run out of critical medicine… None of this giving context or advise, just sharing feelings of anger and fear.

      I want to hear form public health experts, not from politicians or celebrities with an opinion, not from all knowing journalists or from “click bait” seeking individuals.

    • I’m skeptical because China is engaged in a massive propaganda campaign to deflect accountability for the spread of the disease. We’ve had 5 or 6 conspiracy theorists visit here (I blocked and removed) promoting this theme. Now the SCIENCE could have originated in the US (or Canada) and been stolen by China, but this outbreak seems to be Chinese in origin. Also, I’d want to see the topic in the NY Times, not ‘for hire’ organizations before I attached ant credibility to it.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Let us all be skeptical, but when the truth comes out, I hope we can still distinguish fact from fiction.
        The propaganda is indeed massive.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Cha alerted me about the site, that it is a pseudo science site.

      • NHerrera says:


        Unfortunately for the topic, the associated research is influenced or hampered by geopolitics and local politics — the latter as it is connected with local officials’ accountability in the missteps into its handling.

        But beyond the politics associated with the virus, I believe the scientists studying the subject are genuinely interested in the answer. Not only for academic interest, but to assess how knowing the origin of patient(s) zero can help in controlling the spread as well as, importantly, profiling the properties of the virus, since its symptoms can be mistaken for the respiratory disease coming from seasonal influenza, etc.

        But as of now, I believe the need to control and mitigate the spread and the effects of the virus takes priority.

        • NHerrera says:


          How even in the US, protocols contributed to the spread of the coronavirus more than it should. For good reasons there are protocols to follow in the test for the virus. Unfortunately, these caused delays in testing which time-delay in the early stages cannot be recovered. Hopefully there are lessons to be learned from this moving forward. Here is a Washington Post article on the subject.


          • NHerrera says:

            In another WaPo article, it is reported that: the virus has now spread to more than 30 U.S. states and 99 countries — up from 85 countries just two days ago.

          • Hello there.

            There are protocols for COVID-19 in place in Emergency Dept. and/or Urgent Care Centers; protection to both patients and health providers. Patients with flu like symptoms are required to fill out forms with pertinent information needed for triaging in isolating suspected COVID-19 case. I believe this is the practice throughout the US.

    • Eye says:

      In the past two years (during the trade war) China has suffered several pandemics:

      February 15, 2018: H7N4 bird flu. Sickened at least 1,600 people in China and killed more than 600. Many chickens killed. China needs to purchase US poultry products.
      June, 2018: H7N9 bird flu. Many chickens killed. China needs to purchase US poultry products.
      August, 2018: outbreak of African swine flu. Same strain as Russia, from Georgia. Millions of pigs killed. China needs to purchase US pork products.
      May 24, 2019: massive infestation of armyworms in 14 province-level regions in China, which destroy most food crops. Quickly spread to more than 8,500 hectares of China’s grain production. They produce astonishing numbers of eggs. China needs to purchase US agricultural products – corn, soybeans.
      December, 2019: Coronavirus appearance puts China’s economy on hold.
      January, 2020: China is hit by a “highly pathogenic” strain of bird flu in Hunan province. Many chickens died, many others killed. China needs to purchase US poultry products.

      The standard adage is that bad luck happens in threes, not sixes.

      • Thanks for the most interesting background, Eye. Must put a lot of stress on regulators.

      • josephivo says:

        Statistically relevant for 1.2 billion people?

        Better measuring/reporting or higher incidence?

        Lessons learned? Prevention improvements? Medical improvements -knowledge, skills, equipment, procedures…? Higher awareness, more robust economy, etc…?

        They don’t see it as “bad luck”, but as improvement opportunities, 6 better than 3.

        I have the strong feeling that China is much more “scientific”, not hindered by “moral” concerns, faster… in a little while they will be the shinning light on the hill not only economically but also in knowledge, fall back resources, inventions…

        • China has more than 4 times the population of the USA in a similar, a bit smaller area.

          Their concentration of industrial animal farming is a perfect environment for viruses.

          The population density is perfect for the spread of viruses.

          India probably avoids that fate by eating less meat.

          Human viruses all came from livestock BTW – in Eurasia.

          Native Americans had no immunity to colds back in 1492.

          • josephivo says:

            Don’t look a the snapshot of today, make it moving by flipping through pictures of the last decennia. Don’t think of the results for this quarter, plan for the next 50 years. Don’t look at finance only, look at science, information technology, culture, well being, education, infrastructure… guns, opioid consumption and suicides, look at it holistically.

            Population densities increase AND health increases. More than half of the people want to live in dense cities and they can expect to live longer doing so. Look at the whole picture, just as the Chinese do.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Nice narrative, but because of the trade war they bought the agri products from Brazil and Argentina.

      • karlgarcia says:

        How can Us ecport feeds with no chicken and pig to eat them?

        Brazil to the rescue! But they will export dead animals with no need to be fed.



  10. Most of Northern Italy is now under quarantine, 10 million people until April 3.

    Public life is basically stopped there.

  11. popoy says:


    On the earth’s nuclear vaporisation, this news (link) is the latest condensed truth to be digested, cogitated and mercilessly critique by ageless concerned students who’s got God given brains for analysis. Finishing reading the whole piece without paragraph by paragraph scrutiny for truth indicates possession of power to distill worthy eche bucheche from garbage. It could give hints too as to who among US Presidents from FDR, to that Postal Clerk, star soldiers, the actor, the oilman, etc., a brilliant wimp, a sissy peacenik, an etcetera non-combatant, to that shrewed business braggadociac.

    The piece link tells an analytical mind how the US military and scientists by mere advanced weaponry ARE unknowingly keeping America Great among free and non-free (ideologically) dinosaur nations fighting extinction.


  12. popoy says:

    BEYOND good intentions, competence and dedication of politicians and bureaucrats, UNQUESTIONED, ACKNOWLEDGED and PRAISED in the News, social media and whatever:

    Yes, Okay, OKAY To the Filipino people and residents, there is loud and very clear DECLARATION of NATIONAL PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY.

    HOWEVER, Is there also a specific declaration of national allocation of RESOURCES of four Ems (Men, Money, Methods, Metcetera) involving ADDITIONAL to the REGULAR and EXISTING INPUTS of health personnel, hospitals, clinics, medicines, isolation wards, quarantine facilities, metchetera?

    A declaration of emergency is a plain piece of wet paper if not ironed and concretized by a program of action characterized by unhampered consumption of government resources. Yes, may be but the country IS NOT THERE ALREADY YET. Eh.

    Where is the money coming from? Where is the detailed plan of action (not the old, on-going one) that will jumpstart public announcement into dynamic events?

    • karlgarcia says:

      Si Bong Go daw ang may credit sa pag convince kay Duterte mag declare ng emergency.
      21 Feb pa ang letter ng DOH.

  13. sonny says:

    Looks like it’s a battle of managing perception vs. reality. Malacanang is pushing buttons (manipulating perception); White House pushing buttons (manipulating reality).

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