No To Chismosas: There Must Be More Intelligent Ways to Do Contact Tracing, Says Jonvic Remulla

"Unahin ang importante," chides the Cavite governor.


( You know how sometimes a brilliant idea may sound utterly ridiculous at first? Well, the suggestion to use busybody neighbors as agents of contact tracing definitely doesn't fall under that category. "I am sure there are better, more efficient and intelligent ways to make the people cooperate with the government," Cavite's Governor Jonvic Remulla wrote on his Facebook page on July 23. 

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The statement was a reaction to news that neighborhood rumormongers could help authorities keep track of the spread of COVID-19, as suggested by Police Brigadier General Albert Ignatius Ferro, Central Visayas police chief. TBF, your gossipy neighbors really are the eyes, nose, and ears of the community—but this also means you might just land in an isolation facility for a completely unrelated sniffle. "We should continue to prioritize testing, conduct better contact tracing and isolation [methods]," stated Remulla in response. 


Remulla's message comes a few days before the 2020 State of the Nation Address, which is slated for Monday, July 27.  Amid reports of the House planning to convene after the address to discuss the charter change proposed by around 1,400 mayors—and that "chismosa" suggestion—Remulla said that the focus must be brought back to tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"Unahin ang IMPORTANTE. Let us serve the people FIRST before we serve ourselves," wrote the governor, complete with the emphasis. "Tsaka na 'yang Charter Change (ChaCha) or the proposed Amendments to the Constitution."

While the governor first wrote that he believes "the constitution is a living document that must reflect the wisdom of our times," he then asked "Is it the right time?" COVID-19 is still wreaking havoc in our country, he pointed out. "Dapat, wala tayo ibang unahin na kung ano-ano." With the national address set to happen in just a few days, we have our fingers crossed that the government's priorities finally do straighten out. 


Remulla earlier released an open letter on Facebook addressed to his older brother, Jesus Crispin Remulla, after the latter was filmed not adhering to the proper Flag laws while the national anthem was played before a congressional hearing on the ABS-CBN franchise renewal. The younger Remulla called out his brother—the Cavite District 7 Representative and one of the main players in the ABS-CBN hearings—writing, "Let’s be the better person. Let’s be the clearer person. Let the facts speak louder than our own words."

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