Fred Lumba: For whom thy heart grieves

US Pres. Donald Trump just canceled the American government’s annual financial assistance to the World Health Organization to the tune of $425 million dollars.

Whether this is a stinging blow or not in the battle against the pandemic health hazard known as CoVid 19 that has gone globally berserk, we cannot as yet determine.

But the fact remains that it was a big slap on the face of WHO Director General Tedros who is being presumed by many observers worldwide to be “too friendly” with China. Whatever that means.

This, despite on record that the CoVid 19 pathogen originated from the city of Wuhan where the Chinese Institute of Virology laboratory is located.

In the Philippines, close to twenty medical practitioners have perished as they gallantly fought in the frontlines, treating thousands of virus infected patients the best they could even at the cost of their lives.

Very recently the YouTube plea of Dr. Fabunan, a Zambales physician who has had extensive medical practice and research in the US and claims to have discovered the vaccine that will cure the virus has finally been brought to the attention of Pres. Duterte.

The Chief Executive forthwith gave instructions to all concerned to take a very close look at the Fabunan vaccine formula. 

This was the reason, I think, why PRRD sounded confident in his recent press statement that the lifting of the lockdown may be near.

Given the sincere assurances from Fabunan that his formula has had successful cures in the recent past, let us pray that our health authorities – the DOH and FDA – do not have to look outside (as they did in the Dengvaxia experience) so as to delay the use of the Fabunan vaccine.

At any rate, perhaps the President may have to look into the propriety of the projected construction of the very expensive new senate building at the Bonifacio Global City.

Taxpayers’ money to the tune of P10B is reportedly going to be spent which will house only 24 senators of the republic, a huge amount which could be instead spent for the construction of a state of the art Institute of Virology (like in Wuhan) or the improvement and rehabilitation of PGH, Lung and Kidney Center, Heart Center, RITM, cancer research and other highly specialized medical institutions.

Why these senators – not one of them protested – are ambitiously building for themselves spacious, sophisticated and elegant offices that will only become a white elephant is really obnoxious and nauseating.

Perhaps, some people will make a quick buck here. You know, as they say, where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

I think the President may have to put his foot down and stop this ostentatious spending. It is not only wantonly expensive and extravagant because there is NO FELT NEED to build a new senate building this costly at this time.

To be sure, the timing is fishy. Some smart alecks are conspiring in order to fill their campaign chests and be ably prepared for the presidential elections that are forthcoming in 2022. 

At the expense of the Filipino taxpayers.

Both Houses of Congress have been perceived to be financial burdens to the government as taxpayers’ money – a huge chunk of it – is appropriated and siphoned off to pay their huge salaries, perks and privileges, foreign travel, housing, hidden pork barrels, hidden agenda, etc.

The House of Representatives and the Senate – compared to other legislature of foreign governments – have not been as efficient and as effective as a lawmaking body.

There are still many issues of national import that have remained unaddressed like the implementation of the National ID system, the traffic mess at EDSA, the plight of OFWs, poverty, food security, unemployment, health and education and national defense.

As I echoed in my previous piece, if the government structure does not perform effectively, the people, having the sovereign mandate, can rise up and seize the moment.