Tag: COVID-19

On Legal Tools in Enforcing “Community Quarantines”

As the “community quarantine” to address the COVID-19 threat starts, the Philippine National Police should exercise caution in handling the situation.

Republic Act 9271, the Quarantine Act of 2004 – replacing a very old Republic Act 123 of 1947 – is silent on the movements of persons in the streets as it only covers domestic and international seaports and airports.

Hence, law enforcement authorities may not be legally equipped to conduct arrest unless local ordinances are available for its enforcement.

For its part, Congress may need to amend R.A. 9271 to adapt to this new normal, the COVID-19, and God knows what else would come to hit us in the future. Hopefully we’ve seen the last of its kind even as we pray that cure will come sooner than soon.

Having said that, the people are enjoined to fully cooperate. After all, these are extraordinary times that call for extraordinary measures.

*****

Dealing with COVID-19 as a Nation

covid19-lockdown

The Metro Manila “lockdown,” “community quarantine,” or whatever the authorities may call it, is one decisive action taken by the government that needs the support of our people, no matter the sacrifices or inconvenience it brings.

But then again, government must lose no time in coming up with practical but effective ways of implementing it to serve its real purpose for our country to survive this unprecedented crisis that we are facing.

For its part, the Department of Health’s Inter-Agency Task Force (DOH-IATF) should issue clear, simple and concise guidelines on dealing with COVID-19 to prevent confusion among the public, as so many doctors and medical experts have been expressing different opinions on it, particularly on its transmission.

One example involves former DOH Sec. and now Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin being quoted as saying COVID-19 is infectious only when the patient is symptomatic, and that quarantine should be mandatory only for those who had direct contact with positive patient, on the one hand; and on the other, Chinese researchers reportedly confirmed a case of asymptomatic transmission where a woman from Wuhan passed it to five kin but never got physically sick herself.

Meanwhile, self-quarantine is not for oneself but for the sake of other people. Insisting to work or move around in spite of full knowledge of interaction with a possible COVID-19 carrier is not a laudable act. It is in fact damnable.

Citizens must also do their part by practicing self-discipline and self-control against thoughtless acts such as hoarding and profiteering at the expense of fellow Filipinos.

This is not the time to argue and fight. Instead, we should all unite to get over this plague.

*****

Going on Self-Quarantine as COVID-19 Precaution

senate-facade-officialgazette

Better safe than sorry for others.

There is every reason to be concerned as far as the Senate, since an invited resource person who has been tested positive for COVID-19 had not only entered the Senate premises, but even interacted with at least two senators and their staff.

In my case, since I shared the elevator with Sen. Gatchalian yesterday afternoon on our way to the session hall, I am taking precaution by doing self-quarantine while waiting for the result of his test. If he tests positive, I will have to undergo the test myself.

We agreed to disinfect the Senate starting today. I would encourage my fellow senators who may have interacted with our two colleagues, Senators Binay and Gatchalian, to follow their lead and do self-quarantine for two weeks as well, not only for our sake but for others.

*****

On the DOH’s Procedures in Dealing with the COVID-19 Phenomenon

Do we have enough testers to cover a decent number of our population, especially in the more vulnerable areas of the country? If no, the DOH may be underreporting, albeit unintentionally.

Having said that, we do not see the problem of the virus as it actually exists. This is a top health priority, and government must invest heavily not only on prevention and cure by way of research, but also on containment. We have many homegrown medical experts in and out of government.

This is one phenomenon that should bring us together as a nation.

*****

#PINGterview: Lifting of Taiwan Travel Ban, Lt Col Espenido Issue, VFA Abrogation

In an interview on DWIZ, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– lifting of travel ban on Taiwan
– issues involving P/Lt. Col. Jovie Espenido
– possible actions after VFA abrogation
– franchise of ABS-CBN

QUOTES and NOTES:
Continue reading “#PINGterview: Lifting of Taiwan Travel Ban, Lt Col Espenido Issue, VFA Abrogation”

On the Philippines’ Travel Ban to Taiwan

Image courtesy: The Filipino Times

Just like the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement, the Philippine government’s travel ban to Taiwan is a policy decision implemented by the executive department which may not necessarily be correct, health-wise and politically.

Politically, it seems that the China lobby has become a very powerful force under this administration. Only time will tell if this major shift in the country’s foreign policy will benefit our people in the medium and long term – even as in the immediate term, the travel ban may already have potentially dire consequences for our Filipino workers there.

We elected a President who does not appear to give much importance to counsels and consultations with sectors that could very well help him arrive at well-informed decisions. While I do not question his sincerity in trying to solve the problems besetting our country since the time the millennials of the world were not even born, I still hope he can leave his own legacy worth remembering.

Having said that, I continue to support his leadership but I will not stop calling him out on major decisions which I don’t think serve the best interest of our country and people.

*****

#PINGterview: On DICT, 2019-nCoV Issues | Feb. 5, 2020

In an interview with Senate media, Senate President Sotto and Sen. Lacson answer questions on:
– Oversight Committee on Confidential/Intel Funds and DICT Row
– Concerns on 2019-nCoV

QUOTES and NOTES:
Continue reading “#PINGterview: On DICT, 2019-nCoV Issues | Feb. 5, 2020”

‘Unity of Command’: At the Senate Hearing on the 2019-nCoV Situation

photo0204-001

At the Senate hearing on the 2019-nCoV situation, Sen. Lacson emphasized the principle of unity of command in addressing the problem, with the Department of Health taking charge because “this is a health issue.”

QUOTES and NOTES:
Continue reading “‘Unity of Command’: At the Senate Hearing on the 2019-nCoV Situation”