A waste of gov­ern­ment funds

Sun.Star Pampanga - - OPINION - BOB BY NALZARO

In­deed, the na­tional pho­to­bomber con­tin­ues his reign as the selfie king.

In the age of smar­phones and In­sta­gram, selfies with celebri­ties have truly re­placed the tra­di­tional au­to­graph. It’s quite dif­fi­cult to imag­ine an en­counter these days with­out fans leav­ing with some sort of dig­i­tal ev­i­dence of their meet­ing.

And while it’s be­come so much eas­ier to doc­u­ment sig­nif­i­cant mo­ments like meet­ing our ‘lodi,’it takes so much courage to nail these ‘once in a life­time’selfies— not to men­tion the per­fect timing, the an­gles and the crowd.

But Mr. Christo­pher ‘Bong’ Go, Pres­i­dent Duterte’s spe­cial as­sis­tant, proves to be the ‘undis­puted one’as he con­tin­ues to score epic snaps with world lead­ers and other known per­son­al­i­ties.

The 41-year-old of­fi­cial started to make waves on­line since first post­ing about Pres­i­dent Digong’s first face-to-face en­counter with United States Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump at the Asia-Pa­cific Eco­nomic Lead­ers’Sum­mit in Viet­nam, where he seemed to be more prom­i­nent in the image’s fore­ground than the two heads of state.

Then he lever­aged his selfie game as he took more with Pres­i­dent Trump, Cana­dian Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau, Aus­tralian Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull, and Rus­sian Prime Min­is­ter Dmitry Medvedev and many more.

Then there’s the stag­ger­ing 26,000 re­ac­tions, 5,000 shares and 600 com­ments; a fea­ture by The Washington Post, one of U.S.’s lead­ing broadsheets — where he was dubbed as the “selfie sa­vant”; a new photo with Steven Seagul; and so on.

But the kicker?

In case you don’t know, Face­book users can now have their photo taken with him. Thanks to the lat­est photo fil­ter now cir­cu­lat­ing on so­cial me­dia!

I’ve first seen this through my good friend, Philip’s ac­count. Then, later dis­cov­ered that the fea­ture is ac­ces­si­ble if you use the fil­ter with your cur­rent pro­file pic­ture.

Although the cre­ator of the cus­tom frame re­mains un­known, heaps of ne­ti­zens had pop­u­lated the news feed with this t r end.

When told about it, Go has proven to be a good sport as he said: “Hala! I’m hum­bled. I am just an ex­tra. I don’t de­serve this kind of at­ten­tion.”

Oh. hail to the King and the new­est ‘Lodi’in town! Stay ac­tive un­til our next chat!


Need more tips on life, ca­reer and be­yond? In­vite me to speak at your event or reach me at www.face­book.com/ I n Spar k .Peop l e By Bobby Nalzaro I AM afraid that the P3 bil­lion worth of Deng­vaxia, the anti-dengue vac­cine, will go to waste fol­low­ing the sus­pen­sion in ad­min­is­ter­ing the vac­cines to chil­dren and adults by no less than the De­part­ment of Health (DOH). This is in view of the new find­ings by the vac­cine sup­plier, Sanofi Pas­teur, in its neg­a­tive clin­i­cal ef­fect to patients who have not yet been in­fected by the dengue virus.

The new find­ings have cre­ated panic among physi­cians and patients in coun­tries that pur­chased the vac­cines, in­clud­ing the Philip­pines. About half of the world’s pop­u­la­tion live in coun­tries where four serotypes of dengue virus are in cir­cu­la­tion. Ev­ery year, an es­ti­mated 390 mil­lion dengue in­fec­tions are re­ported. Peo­ple can be in­fected with dengue up to four times in their life­time and they can get se­verely ill af­ter any of these in­fec­tions.

Sur­veil­lance data from some en­demic coun­tries in­di­cated that be­tween 70 to 90 per cent of peo­ple will have been ex­posed to dengue at least once by the time they reach ado­les­cence. There are many fac­tors that can lead to se­vere dengue in­fec­tion. How­ever, the high risk of get­ting a more se­vere dis­ease has been ob­served in peo­ple in­fected for the sec­ond time by a dif­fer­ent dengue virus. Dengue is a painful, de­bil­i­tat­ing mosquito-borne vi­ral dis­ease for which there is no treat­ment yet. Al­most five bil­lion peo­ple are liv­ing at risk of dengue and these peo­ple can be sick­ened by dengue not just once but as many as four times in their life­time.

“These find­ings high­light the com­plex na­ture of dengue in­fec­tion. We are work­ing with health au­thor­i­ties to en­sure that pre­scribers, vac­ci­na­tors and patients are fully in­formed of the new find­ings with the goal of en­hanc­ing the im­pact of Deng­vaxia in the en­demic coun­tries,’said Dr. Su-Pe­ing Ng, global med­i­cal head of Sanofi Pas­teur.

Now, why did I say that the dengue vac­cines that the pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion pur­chased will go to waste? Who still wants to avail them­selves of the free vac­cine in light of the re­cent find­ings? Par­ents of chil­dren and those adults who were al­ready vac­ci­nated and but never have been in­fected by the virus

are pan­ick­ing and scared be­cause of the neg­a­tive clin­i­cal ef­fects of the vac­cines.

And how can the vac­cine’s man­u­fac­turer im­prove its prod­uct when these were al­ready distributed and used by their clients’coun­tries, in­clud­ing here. Will the man­u­fac­turer only im­prove the la­bel­ing and not the content of the prod­uct as it will not jeop­ar­dize the lives of those peo­ple who have been vac­ci­nated who did not ex­pe­ri­ence dengue? Will the man­u­fac­turer re­call the vac­cines and re­place these with newly im­proved ones? I doubt.

While there are peo­ple, es­pe­cially those con­fined in gov­ern­ment hos­pi­tals and ru­ral folks who are in dire need of medicines, we’ve heard about ex­pired medicines be­ing buried and in­dis­crim­i­nately dis­posed of by health of­fi­cials. If you ask some med­i­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tives, they will tell you that some gov­ern­ment hos­pi­tals and lo­cal gov­ern­ment units they sup­ply will just pur­chase medicines even if these are not needed. Why? Be­cause those in charge and head of the procur­ing en­ti­ties are only af­ter their com­mis­sions and SOP. As a re­sult, some of these medicines will not be of used and will just ex­pire. The phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­try is a multi-bil­lion-dol­lar in­dus­try and phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies can in­flu­ence pol­i­cy­mak­ers to pa­tron­ize their prod­ucts be­cause of un­der-the-ta­ble deals. Cor­rup­tion is still the rea­son for all of these. This is a to­tal waste of tax­pay­ers’ money.

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