(Eagle News) — The proposal to place the entire country under the more relaxed Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) protocols has already been submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte for his consideration and decision, according to the Inter-Agency Task Force For the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Palace Spokesperson Harry Roque said that the matter will be discussed in the cabinet meeting with President Duterte on Monday, Feb. 22.
“Titingnan po natin kung ano magiging desisyon ng ating Presidente pagdating ng Lunes dahil itong rekomendasyon pong ito ay isa rin sa mga bagay na idi-discuss po doon sa Cabinet meeting (We will see what will be President Duterte’s decision by Monday because this recommendation is to ve discussed in the cabinet meeting),” he said.
Roque, who also serves as IATF spokesperson, said that the shift to MGCQ came about after much study. He said that economic managers have noted that more people are now going hungry and that there are more people dying due to causes other than COVID-19.
“Now, pagdating naman po doon sa suporta para sa MGCQ, nagpapasalamat po kami. Ito po’y hindi naman po desisyon na hindi po nakabase sa siyensya at sa riyalidad. Ang totoo po, mas marami nang nagugutom, mas marami na pong namamatay sa mga kadahilanan na iba po sa COVID-19,” he said.
Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez also noted the precarious situation of many Filipinos who cannot put food on the table. That is why, he said, the move to MGCQ is very critical so that more livelihood and employment opportunities can now be opened.
He also assured that the opening of the economy will be done very gradually, and consistent with the advice of health experts. There will also be strict implementation of minimum health standards. They also noted that cases have not had a spike lately.
“So, iyong worry lang po natin, each day na lumalampas at walang makain iyong iba nating mga kababayan, iyon ho ay problema ho natin. Hindi ho naman makakasakit itong gagawin natin. Again, nakita natin noong nagluwag tayo nang dahan-dahan hindi naman ho sumipa iyong cases,” Lopez said.
“So, again, may basehan naman po tayo ng dahan-dahang pagpapaluwag, itinutuloy lang po natin iyong momentum ngayon na nama-manage naman nating mabuti iyong COVID cases and, of course, sa tulong ho ng mga LGUs, na-enforce ho nila iyong compliance nito hong pagkontrol ng COVID cases. So, tulung-tulong naman ho lahat dito,” he added.
Roque said that they will also look at the two-week attack rate of COVID-19, as well as the hospital capacity. He said that this will also be taken into consideration in the discussions on Monday at the cabinet meeting.
“Kahit anong desisyon sa Lunes, ako personally, pabor po na tingnan pa rin ang two-week attack rate at saka iyong hospital care capacity ‘no bago magdeklara nang panibagong quarantine classifications. Sa akin po, importante pa rin po ang analytics at ang datos,” he noted.
Nine of the 17 Metro Manila mayors have also agreed to shift to MGCQ after discussions with the IATF economic cluster.
(Eagle News Service)