Lacson: Fast-Track Standard Quarantine Protocols to Benefit OFWs, Economy
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson pushed for the fast-tracking of standard quarantine protocols for vaccinated Filipinos, to benefit not just returning overseas Filipino workers but also our economy.
As he threw his full support behind the National Task Force Against COVID-19’s move to draw up standard quarantine protocols for Filipinos vaccinated here and abroad, Lacson said economic recovery cannot afford to wait.
“Please make it sooner, not later. Mind the economy for a change,” he said in a post on his Twitter account.
He was referring to reports quoting vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. as saying the national task force is working on the standard protocols where once an OFW is validated to have been vaccinated, he/she will have the same quarantine control with those vaccinated here in the Philippines; and that they will follow the same quarantine procedure.
Lacson earlier batted for a vaccine passport system that will make traveling to the Philippines easier for vaccinated people, especially for returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and foreign investors. He urged the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to fine-tune the protocols that will address these problems and make sure the protocols are in sync with those of other countries.
He also threw his support behind the Department of Health’s reported recommendation to scrap the COVID-19 testing requirement for inbound Filipinos who were fully vaccinated abroad, though this is still under study.
“Way to go! This is one sensible adjustment that our ‘kababayans’ abroad who miss their families here have been wanting to hear from DOH,” he said.
On the other hand, Lacson pushed for fiscal discipline for economic recovery, which may entail a “barebones” national budget for at least the next three years, amid reports that Fitch Solutions sees the peso may weaken over the longer haul.
“This is where a ‘barebones’ national budget in the next three years, at least – makes a good study. Agencies habitually scramble to realign/spend their appropriations at the start of the 4th quarter, wasting people’s money,” Lacson said.
“We can’t go on borrowing while wasting money on corruption and incompetence. ‘Barebones’ implies not sacrificing essentials including budget for economic recovery. It also includes fiscal discipline,” he added.