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Roque against lockdown, wants to boost livelihood amid pandemic

UniTeam senatorial candidate Harry Roque is against a COVID19 lockdown after seeing its heavy toll on the economy and the people.

“Ayaw ng tao ang lockdown. All along, akala ng tao ako si ‘Mr. Lockdown’ eh ngayon nakita nila ako pala ang number one proponent ng hanapbuhay,” Roque said.

Roque, a former presidential spokesperson, said that millions of Filipinos had lost their jobs due to lockdowns as a result of the pandemic.

In October 2021, the country’s unemployment rate was 7.4 percent, the third-lowest in 2021, according to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

The lowest reported rate was 6.9 percent in July 2021, with 7.1 percent in March 2021. In September 2021, the unemployment rate peaked at 8.9 percent, the same data showed.

In an interview today, Roque stressed that an increase in the number of intensive care unit (ICU) beds was needed to accommodate Filipinos infected by the virus instead of imposing a lockdown again.

Roque suggested procuring more ICU beds for COVID patients rather than closing the economy.

“It’s cheaper to invest in ICU beds than to [place in the country] on lockdown so, I don’t believe in lockdowns, really, given the nature of COVID. Kaya ka lang nag-lockdown because you don’t have enough ICU beds, but if you do have enough ICU beds, there wouldn’t be a reason to lockdown,” Roque said.

“We’ve had the most number of lockdowns, and we have the most restrictive lockdowns in the whole planet Earth, and yet we did not become the best-performing country in managing COVID,” he added.

Early this year, the country experienced a COVID-19 surge after the daily cases reached over 30,000 a day due to COVID19’s Omicron variant.

As cases increase, some places have also been placed under Alert levels 2, 3, and 4 as cases arise.

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