BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – The Department of Health’s discovery of two confirmed Delta variant cases in this densely-populated urban capital of Negros Occidental province capped this week’s story cycle that has been dominated over several months now by reports on the pandemic, politics, and occasional crime stories.
As residents here continue to wrangle on social media over an anticipated battle royale between Mayor Evelio Leonardia and former Third District Cong Albee Benitez, a union official said the dead season in the sugar industry is forcing workers to look for jobs elsewhere as want deepens in Sugarlandia.
TWO DELTA ON FRIDAY THE 13TH
Friday, which falls on a 13th, perceived to be an unlucky day, brought news of a DOH discovery of the Delta variant in two villages here – Sum-ag and Banago – both densely populated and located along the coastline.
Delta Cases 1 and 2 were described by the Public Information Office based on data from the DOH as both without travel histories outside the city.
The Sum-ag case is a pregnant woman, aged 32, who got a prenatal swab while the Banago case is an elderly businessman, 71.
The woman’s husband works in a government-run hospital. He was reportrdly fully vaccinated.
Both were asymptomatic and have reportedly recovered.
Their swab results were sent to the National Genome Center in Manila for genetic sequencing.
Before the Delta variant discovery, former solon and city administrator John Orola made headlines when he confirmed that some people, including a mayor, have been urging him to run as provincial governor.
Top Capitol seats appear to be uncontested as of now with Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson and Vice-Governor Jeffrey Ferrer facing no formidable opponents.
Orola told DNX he is now involved in a provincial caravan for the local lawyers association that aims to inform people about job opportunities.
He added, however, that a group in the province that includes one mayor had been prodding him to run for the province’s top seat.
He did not confirm if he has transferred his voter’s residence to a town outside the city.
As talks of politicians seeking positions for the coming 2022 polls heating up, jobless workers in sugarcane fields are looking for jobs as the island’s tiempo muerto or dead season deepens.
Labor federation leader Hernani Braza told DNX many agriculture workers are now searching for other means of income as work slows down or stop in the haciendas.
Most work in ricefields or construction if they can be employed temporarily.
The dead season is the period that lasts alnost six months as sugarplanters wait for canes to mature for harvesting.