Tag: quarantine

Data is Key: Flattening the Curve, Preventing a Recession, and Aiding the Poor

It is a most difficult decision to strike a balance between flattening the curve of COVID-19 and the looming economic recession due to a wide swath of business inactivity.

Thus, it is better left to those who have almost unlimited access to all the relevant data to decide which is the best course of action to take moving forward.

Having said that, I am sure that if Congress is provided with all those data, we can help in the policy direction.

On the other hand, there is no perfect system of distribution of aid considering the number of families involved in the cash dole-out, further complicated by a less efficient database due to the late implementation of the National ID system.

Just as intelligence information can spell the difference between success and failure in my previous life in intelligence and law enforcement work, data is the key for our policy makers to make the right decisions at this critical time.

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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.

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