Rodrigo Duterte makes sense: no vaccine, no school. And it runs much deeper.

Once again Philippines President Duterte shocks critics by demonstrating intuitive love and care for his country’s children and their families with policy that is way ahead of the rest of the world.  He wants to see a vaccine or at least a treatment for COVID-19 before sending children back to school,” notes Sharon Santiago of The RINJ Foundation.

Education is essential. So too is protecting children and their families.

In the Philippines, a tired looking President in the wee hours of Tuesday morning (Beijing time GMT +8) told his country he did not want to open schools without a vaccine or a treatment for COVID-19.

Meanwhile, dozens of vaccine projects around the world using numerous methodologies, are exploring all possibilities for vaccines. Some experts has spoken with are optimistic.

Some Lancet-published results from China are very positive in suggesting conceptual directions by trial and error that just moved the process far ahead into the learning curve quickly.

by Micheal John

Once again Philippines President Duterte shocks critics by demonstrating intuitive love and care for children and their families with policy that is way ahead of the rest of the world.Once again Philippines President Duterte shocks critics by demonstrating intuitive love and care for his country’s children and their families with policy that is way ahead of the rest of the world.  He wants to see a vaccine or at least a treatment for COVID-19 before sending children back to school. Photo credit: Screen Capture: ANC TV News on YouTube. Photo Art/Cropping/Enhancement: Rosa Yamamoto / Feminine-Perspective Magazine

“The stunning intelligence of the President’s statement has mouths open across the country today, says nurse Karinna Angeles as she put on her shoes heading out to work this morning.

On her trip to work she typed out this: “I didn’t think much yet about this but, ‘No’ I do not want my young siblings going to school until at least there is a treatment for COVID-19. In fact I think most of our schools, with their horrific dirty bathrooms, are petri-dishes for the worst pathogens on the planet and we now have one more virus that’s worse than them all. Kids are behind in their vaccinations because the health system can’t walk and chew gum at the same time and we could lose half the families in the country if the kids go back to school before we get them vaccinated and at least have a treatment for COVID-19. A vaccine would be better.”

“Now that I think of it, ‘YES’, the President is right,” she added.

A few senators prattled away this morning about ideas based on the three “R” fulcrum of education, a concept that goes back to the seventeenth century. That may be ahead of many of their colleagues’s even weaker arguments. checked with some moms in the Philippines and while some wanted time to think about this, others quickly said, ‘yes, the President is right, it’s too early‘.

Straw polls like this don’t indicate a majority but they do introduce ‘concepts‘. In this case the concept surrounds the question: “What’s the cost of waiting? Zero? And the cost of being wrong? Catastrophe for sure.” The logic is simple. So was most mothers’ answer: “Wait.”

  • Poverty is a big problem in the Philippines.
  • Infrastructure is pitifully weak.
  • The health care system is not only weak but has inept leadership, maybe the worst health-care leadership possible.

Fighting COVID-19 has put most other health care on hold in the Philippines and one crucial aspect is maintaining children’s vaccination schedule.

Preventable disease has already been shaking the Philippines’ health care system at its foundation for a long time before COVID-19 was ever heard of—a quarter of the young adult population are infected with HBV. Huge numbers have HIV.


The Philippines has been enduring a measles outbreak which has been killing children over the past five years although a remedial project has shown some levels of success.

According to the  Philippines’ health department’s  (DOH) Measles and Rubella Surveillance report plus the WHO Epidemiological Overview 2020, “Poor immunization coverage is widely recognized by health specialists as the root cause of the measles outbreaks. Prior to the outbreaks, children fully immunized against the measles vaccine have reportedly gone from 91 per cent to less than 40 per cent in the past five years. It was estimated in 2018 that 3.7 million children under the age of five were susceptible to measles infection. The highly contagious nature of the disease and the low vaccination rate by international standards resulted in multiple outbreaks. Dense, urban, poor environments and the refusal to vaccination exacerbated the situation favoring the rapid spread of the disease.

To cope with the outbreaks, the DOH implemented an immunization program, targeting 3.7 million children aged 6 to 59 months. DOH has published guidelines and led a national measles vaccination campaign, including oral polio vaccine (OPV) and vitamin A distribution, prioritizing un-vaccinated children aged 6 to 59 months; schoolchildren from kindergarten to grade 6; and adults who voluntarily wish to be vaccinated against measles.

All of that mitigation has been on hold since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus four months ago. Families are afraid to go near health centers but moreover, transportation has been shut down and people are under a forced lock down which is likely saving enormous numbers of lives but also creating some fearsome long term issues.

Looking at what some of the nurses have said, it may be true that the health care system needs to “walk and chew gum at the same time”.

Putting this together, the risk of sending Filipino kids back to school is colossal. COLOSSAL RISK!

Sending children with lagging vaccination records is a bad idea. It only takes one to start a chain that will kill thousands.

President Duterte’s instincts are a fleeting glimpse of total honesty in a politician. Embrace that.

Fleeting because Mr. Duterte is under considerable pressure to back off from this position. A huge percentage of the elite portion of the Philippines population works for the education system. They want their pay cheques. The rest of the population, likely now more than 65 million persons in the provinces, are adjusting to being more broke than normal.

But these innovative people will many of them learn to live off the land. They may need help.

“Civil Society needs to get innovative to solve monstrous poverty and hunger issues we are predicting in some corners of Southeast Asia and in Africa,” says women’s humanitarian group.

Feminine-Perspective Magazine Civil society seeks innovative solutions to predicted poverty and hunger issues during pandemic.
This is the extraordinary CSCL Globe, a massive container ship with the ability to haul 19,000 TEUs. “We need a few of these filled with food products, says Katie Alsop of the women’s civil society group RINJ Photo Art/Cropping/Enhancement: Rosa Yamamoto / Feminine-Perspective Magazine

The RINJ Foundation director Rose Catalano in Toronto said to last night that she and other workers were arranging for container-loads of food products to send to volunteers in the Philippines to distribute in the Provinces. An Argentine-flagged ship might be able to assist in the cartage.

Rose’s colleague Katie Alsop suggests they will need shiploads, not just container loads of food products to solve pandemic-driven poverty and starvation problems in the corners of the Southeast Asian and African regions.

“This is how strategic thinkers in the non-profit humanitarian world are directing their efforts. People are struggling now but it’s going to get worse. We need to muster the best of us around the world and build a solidarity to help children and their families,” Rose added.

The Philippines’ limited infrastructure struggles to have any kind of function owing to the extended quarantine across the country that has a crude and murderous military-style enforcement that has failed the humanitarian side.

Refrigerated trucks, rail cars and intermediate refrigerated cooperative warehouses for agricultural products are almost non-existent hence getting farm products to market is tricky at best.

The country’s kleptocracy government infrastructure is inept at solving problems and food store managers are howling about not being able to obtain product to fill their empty shelves. Customers wait outside in three-hour long lineups only to learn eventually they cannot buy what they came for.

“I hope this article will be an early alarm and request to the world to dig into inventories of unshipped food product and redirect containers to hungry people before the product goes to waste,” said nurse Karinna.

The resourceful international women’s group RINJ is predicting dire problems in South East Asia’s remote areas. The want to get ahead of that now. RINJ has a contact point on WhatsApp of +1 6477399279 and can help getting aid to the needy via their own millions of members around the world plus networks of women’s groups and faith-based organizations in-country.

“Don’t allow undelivered containers of food aboard ship or on docks go to waste. Help feed the millions who are going to need this aid,” say the ladies.

Add this up and compare the aggregate to the fact that Filipinos are surviving this evil bastard SARS-COV-2 virus.

Many students posted on Twitter, “I would rather lose a year of school than lose my life.”

Listen to your kids. They make sense. So does President Duterte.