I WOULD like to believe in what Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez is saying about the country being moved to the most lenient quarantine. Just recently, Lopez backed calls for implementing the modified general community quarantine or MGCQ in March.
This, I think, is a way for the government to address the problems on joblessness and poverty brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lopez had sense when he said the lockdowns were supposed to buy us time to prepare our health system and improve contact tracing. Both should have been achieved by now.
He’s right that it’s about time we move to MGCQ after a year of lockdown. Prolonging the restrictive environment will only further hurt the economy if not totally paralyze it.
And besides, the anti-COVID-19 vaccines have already been discovered, produced and marketed world-wide.
Since June 2020, the National Capital Region has not graduated from general community quarantine or GCQ status, a stricter community quarantine measure than MGCQ.
It even went back to much stricter modified enhanced community quarantine or MECQ from Aug. 4 to 18 last year as health care facilities in Metro Manila were overwhelmed due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases during that period.
“As the Philippines recovers, Metro Manila has a very weak recovery, worse in employment and hunger recovery, and that means more urban poor. The damages to malnutrition and other health and social issues will be irreversible,” Lopez said.
NCR accounted for around 40 percent of the Philippine gross domestic product.
But Lopez added the reopening of more economic activities should depend on the COVID-19 statistics.
“But as we see the COVID cases generally going down even with gradual and calibrated reopening of (the) economy, we should continue gradual safe reopening of sectors and further relaxation to MGCQ,” he said.
One can really blow his top upon knowing there are people who have the stomach to defraud others amid the pandemic.
And it’s saddening to learn we still have countrymen who fall prey to these predators despite repeated warnings from authorities.
Maybe they haven’t read the signs on the wall. This corner is willing to help bring out more information about this dilemma.
The Securities and Exchange Commission recently warned the public against individuals and groups engaged in unauthorized investment-taking activities disguised as cryptocurrency trading and franchising.
It advised the public to exercise caution when dealing with Jams Mart, Solmax Global Limited and Igniter 100, as well as BitAccelerate.
All three groups have not secured the necessary licenses to offer securities for sale within the Philippines, as required under Republic Act 8799, or the Securities Regulation Code.
The SEC warned all individuals and entities involved in the unauthorized investment-taking activities of the strict penalties provided under the Securities Regulation Code, and other laws, rules and regulations enforced by the Commission.
The Securities Regulation Code, for one, punishes those who act as salesmen, brokers, dealers or agents with a maximum fine of P5 million or imprisonment of up to 21 years or both.
Similarly, those who invite or recruit others to join or invest in such ventures or offer investment contracts or securities to the public may incur criminal liability, or otherwise be sanctioned or penalized accordingly, as held by the Supreme Court in the case of SEC vs. Oudine Santos (G.R. No. 195542, 19 March 2014).
Information is a potent weapon against fraud.
Be safe. Stay informed.
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