I lived in Taiwan for 26 years. They really have their sh*t together on this. They learned a lot from the SARS epidemic and some senior officials (VP, mayor of Taipei for example) are medical doctors. One of my friends there was infected but recovered. Another was quarantined for two weeks with electronic surveillance and solid support from food delivery to laundry service. Taiwan has about the best socialized healthcare system in the world.
I don’t see DOCOM operating at the moment and certainly the usual scent of coconut on the breeze as you would notice in this season is absent. I haven’t seen a sugarcane truck in a while but they had just harvested before lockdown. The sugar business only really benefits a handful of landowners anyway.
Tax pisos flow up to Manila. I don’t expect to see any return.
Tourism is over for this year I’m afraid. We’ll see a swath of businesses either just not re-opening or changing hands at deep discounts. It won’t just be the resorts. Lots of smaller businesses rely on the resorts, like laundries, fruit vendors, tank fillers.
Another problem I don’t see discussed much is OFWs. Huge numbers of locals rely on remittances from overseas to sponsor their videoke and rum, and many of those are unemployable even in a strong economy. A downturn in global demand hurts the shipping industry and the cruise ship business is going to be decimated. That’s a lot of Filipino seamen idle. Only the medical professionals are going to be in demand, and we could sorely use those here. Vastly reduced remittances to folk with little to no education, work experience, habit or ethic.
I think Occ. played us. They knew we were going to extend ECQ and waited for the official EO to drop before announcing the phase out. A lot of politicians are far more concerned about media attention than the welfare of the electorate.
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I think the question is actually 'will our quarantine be extended?' 2 or 3 days ago I was still convinced that an extension of the ECQ was pretty much a certainty. Now I'm not so sure. That chart above is updated and published each day, and there's been a very clear and strong trend. Now regardless of what we may think of the numbers validity, I think these are the numbers that the government is managing by. I think it's going to be difficult to extend the ECQ when these numbers are all zeros, and we're getting there quite quickly.
I also saw something today (although it was from the 7th) about Dumaguete City Hall being disinfected prior to the resumption of services on the 13th. I still haven't seen any indications that Duma Mayor Remollo was ever in a hurry to shut things down.
Anyway, I'm starting to think that the ECQ might not be extended after all. At least in it's current form. Still need to keep the provincial borders closed of course, and maybe we'd just go back to whatevertheinitialquarentinethingywascalled, but it would be nice to see things loosen up a bit within the province...
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Seems like it will be up to the governor to make the decision to extend or nor extend the N.O. quarantine. Are there new local virus cases this week?
I would hope, if there is no EQ, certain precautions are still taken, such as masks, social distancing, and if you feel sick go to the hospital. With no mass testing available, peeling the onion might be necessary.
The current Dumaguete entrance system is not sustainable.
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My point was (again, sorry) about generalisation. I was married to one and visited a few times. I found them very welcoming (apart from the father-in-law initially) and hospitable. They are different, that's all. I also found the culture fascinating and wish that we had had more time together for me to delve into it more (but then I wouldn't have met my crazy and stunning wife of now, so everything has a silver lining).
Your point about cheap and shoddy Chinese goods is spot on though. It seems that the market here is flooded with them. Things that seem to be designed to stop working 3 days after you get them home. That's not my experience back home though, Chinese goods have to stand up in quality to other brands, so I can only conclude that retailers here are buying at the bottom end of the market, goods that the local populace can afford.
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All countries should have followed the 'Taiwan Model' as all/most of it makes sense.
* Taiwan engaged in 124 discrete action items to prevent the spread of the disease, including early screening of flights from Mainland China and the tracking of individual cases.
*On 31 December 2019, Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC) implemented inspection measures for inbound flights from Wuhan, China in response to reports of an unidentified outbreak. The passengers of all such flights were inspected by health officials before disembarking.
* Starting 19 March foreign nationals were barred from entering Taiwan, with some exceptions, such as those carrying out the term of a business contract, holding valid Alien Resident Certificates, diplomatic credentials, or other official documentation and special permits.
* By 5 January 2020, the Taiwan CDC began monitoring all individuals who had travelled to Wuhan within fourteen days and exhibited a fever or symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections. These people were screened for 26 known pathogens, including SARS and Middle East respiratory syndrome, and those testing positive were quarantined.
* After the first case of the coronavirus was reported on 21 January, the Taiwanese government announced a temporary ban on the export of face masks for a month on 24 January to secure a supply of masks for its own citizens. The ban was extended twice; on 13 February until the end of April, and on 13 April until the end of June. On 6 February, the government instituted a mask rationing system, requiring citizens to present their National Health Insurance card. Adults were allowed to buy two masks each visit and children four, with the restriction that a minimum of seven days must elapse since the last purchase. The date restriction for children under thirteen years of age was revoked on 27 February. Starting 5 March, adults were permitted to buy three masks weekly, and the children's quota was raised to five. Masks were available for pre-order online from 12 March. In April, the mask rationing system was revised, so that adults could buy nine masks every two weeks. In addition, Taiwanese nationals can send 30 masks every two months overseas to first or second-degree relatives. (Soldiers were dispatched to the factory floors of major mask manufacturers to help staff the 62 additional mask production lines being set up at the time. In early March, Taiwan's average production of surgical face masks reached 9.2 million per day. By the end of March, the daily production of surgical face masks reached 13 million.)
Also, from a person I know in Taiwan, it is now compulsory to wear face masks outside the home. This family is back to normal - the children are at school and people go out shopping, but they still employ social distancing. Not wearing a face masks incurs a fine of TWD5000 (about 8500 pesos) and it IS enforced.
I make no excuse again for commending their policy on face masks - is spite of the fact that 'experts' tell people there is no need and a Forum member pops up every day or so to tell other members the same negative thing. I hope they don't listen.
Cases are very low on smaller islands in the Philippines, the main focus is in Manila, but 35 Iloilo Mayors recently had to get together to reject the landing of 100 OFWs from Manila. Do we know if any transport is taking place of persons from Manila? If it is then people still need to be very wary.
If it is not then I see no reason why the quarantine could not be relaxed IF people wear face masks outdoors (100% of people that is) and if they carry out social distancing. But I understand from the friend in Taiwan that some Filipinos there are being hard-headed about following Taiwan's policy on face masks - so what chance they will follow the rules here!
Last edited: Apr 16, 2020
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