WITH most places in the country now under general community quarantine effective June 1, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go reminded Filipinos to continue following health protocols and remain vigilant as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak still remains a threat.
“Pinapaalalahanan ko lahat ng Pilipino na maging mapagmatyag at sundin ang mga palatuntunan sa mga quarantine na ipinapatupad ng mga otoridad. Mag-ingat pa rin, ‘wag maging kampante. Malayo pa ang laban. Still follow protocols. Wala pa pong vaccine na naiimbento at ayaw nating kumalat o lumala pa ang sitwasyon natin sa bansa,” said Go.
Go’s reminder came after President Rodrigo Duterte, upon the advice of the Inter-Agency Task Force, has approved effective June 1 until June 15 to put many major areas under GCQ, including Metro Manila, from the enhanced community quarantine imposed throughout Luzon before.
GCQ has been declared in Baguio City, Pangasinan, Region II, Region III, Region IV-A and the National Capital Region.
In the Visayas, Iloilo City and Region VII were also declared under GCQ, and in Mindanao, Zamboanga City and Davao City were placed in the same quarantine classification.
The rest of the areas not mentioned are under a modified GCQ.
Cebu City is the only one in the country which remains under the more stringent modified ECQ. The same IATF resolution, however, allows for the imposition of localized ECQ within a town or city should there be sudden spike in the number of infection cases.
“Sa pagdeklara ng GCQ, maraming syudad ang magbubukas ng mga businesses. Higit pa, magkakaroon din ng limited public transportation. Dahil dito, mas maraming tao ang pwedeng lumabas ngunit, hinihiling ko sa aking mga kababayang Pilipino na lumabas lamang kapag kinakailangan,” Go further reminded.
“Hindi ibig sabihin na GCQ na ay pwedeng mamasyal na. May sinusunod pang mga health protocols upang siguraduhin na tuluyang malampasan ang krisis na ito at mahinto na ang pagkalat ng COVID-19,” he added.
The IATF has defined GCQ as the implementation of temporary measures limiting movement and transportation. There are also regulations of operating industries and, more importantly, the presence of uniformed personnel to enforce necessary community quarantine protocols. Meanwhile, the MGCQ refers to the possible transition between GCQ and the New Normal, when the temporary GCQ measures are relaxed and become less necessary.
“Hindi pa ‘new normal’ ang MGCQ. Malayo pa po tayo roon. Kailangan natin magtulungan para umusad tayo papunta sa New Normal,” the senator said.
Go also clarified the Hatid Probinsya initiatives for stranded individuals are different from the Balik Probinsya, Balik Pag-asa Program (BP2). The senator explained that each program addresses certain types of concerns of affected individuals seeking help.
“Para po sa kaalaman ng lahat, magkaibang programa ang Hatid Probinsya at BP2. Ang Hatid Probinsya po ay para sa mga Pilipinong stranded, hindi taga Maynila, at kailangan nang umuwi sa kanilang probinsya, lalo na ngayong COVID-19,” Go explained.
“Ang BP2 naman ay para sa mga residente ng Metro Manila na gustong umuwi at magsimula ng bagong buhay sa kanilang mga probinsya pagkatapos ng health crisis na kinakaharap natin,” the senator added.
Various Hatid Probinsya initiatives being implemented right now are specifically targeting overseas Filipino workers, students, tourists and ordinary individuals who are stranded in Metro Manila and need to go home to their provinces. The national government opted to roll out the subsequent batches of BP2 program soon after the Hatid Probinsya initiatives are done being implemented.
Go also made clear that each batch being brought home go through a rigorous health process to prevent them from being carriers of the disease. They are also required to go through a mandatory fourteen-day quarantine making sure that there is no transmission of virus from one place to the other.
“Maliban dito, mahalaga din ang coordination between the national government at mga local government units. Kailangang masiguro muna na merong testing capacity at handa nang tumanggap ang uuwiang probinsya,” the Senator added.