While suggestions for stricter lockdowns to curb the continuing increase in COVID cases may make sense at this time, such lockdowns should be time-bound to protect a still-battered economy, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Friday.
Lacson said an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ)-type lockdown whose length is “open-ended” can threaten to kill the economy that has yet to recover from a similar measure last year.
“I would support a time-bound ECQ-type lockdown but only in areas with an unusually high number of COVID infections, so as not to further punish an already suffering economy. For now, these may include identified areas in Metro Manila, Calabarzon and Central Visayas as the daily records would indicate,” Lacson said.
The time-bound nature will allow the business sector to “plan in advance their way forward and make adjustments in their business activities like production, marketing and the like,” he added.
The request of health workers to place Mega Manila under ECQ for at least two weeks is a valid request that Malacañang should seriously consider. Putting human lives above all considerations is a no-brainer, given the choice.
Having said that, some adjustments can be made in the distribution of government subsidy to the most basic necessities of those who need it the most.
What is important is to prevent an obvious pattern of upsurge in the daily coronavirus infection.
Considering that the economy is reeling from a prolonged lockdown which directly affects not only individual and family income but the country’s revenue collections as well, thus draining the coffers like an open faucet, it is wise for our policy makers to ease up the restrictions currently being imposed.
As long as physical distancing and other protocols are strictly observed and enforced by authorities, I support this latest plan to allow business activities to resume, even on a limited scale.
Having said that, I hope the finer details of the decision to ease the quarantine restrictions would be based on sound data, and not just that of the Department of Health, whose limitations in handling data may potentially lead to wrong decisions. After all, we all do want to stay alive even during a lockdown.
In an interview on ANC, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* second wave of COVID? [0:21]
* pattern of overpricing at DOH [3:05]
* day of reckoning vs those behind overpricing [7:46]
* need for extension of Bayanihan Act [12:17]
* fate of NCRPO chief Debold Sinas [13:21]
* ABS-CBN franchise issue [16:50]
During these trying times, the Philippine National Police has the unenviable task of implementing an Enhanced Community Quarantine, without fear or favor. For the most part, our policemen deserve kudos for doing their jobs.
On the other hand, being an “investor with 80 employees” as he claimed does not give the foreigner the right to confront and incessantly berate a police officer who is merely performing a risky duty in the manner that he did.
The Bureau of Immigration may have to look into the matter. If a deportation proceeding is in order, they should act swiftly and decisively.
Arrogance has no place in our country – especially so in a situation where either all of us win, or all of us lose to the COVID-19 threat.
In an interview on DZBB/GMA News TV, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* possible supplemental budget to deal with COVID-19 [0:26]
* at least P989B unused from 2019 budget [2:40]
* local officials naipit sa Social Amelioration Program [17:39]
* DBM circular barring release of 35% of 2020 budget’s appropriations [19:45]
* lockdown until June? [24:17]
In an interview on DWIZ, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* extension of ECQ/lockdown [0:19]
* need for discipline during ECQ [4:07]
* barangay officials’ problems [10:02]
* sayang ang National ID system [14:04]
* May 4 session resumption; options on legislative calendar [18:09]
* test period for DOH Sec Duque [22:40]