MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to extend the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) by two weeks is “reasonable” and justified, senators said Tuesday.
The Philippine government earlier announced that the month-long ECQ, which was originally intended until April 12, would be extended to April 30 to curb the further spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
“April 30 extension seems to be reasonable considering the fact that DOH (Department of Health) has no clear projection yet of how things are evolving. Better safe than sorry,” Senate President Vicente Sotto III said in a statement.
“The extension is to solve the health concerns on the spread of the virus,” he said.
Other senators agreed with Sotto’s view.
Senator Sonny Angara, who has just recently recovered from the virus, said the two-week quarantine extension is “justified.”
“Testing can catch up, we can gauge the public health situation. Basic needs must be delivered,” he said in a separate statement.
Senator Francis Tolentino said President Duterte’s decision was based on empirical data and augurs well with the Bayanihan to Heal as One Law, which he said is valid for two months.
“We have to support the extension of the ECQ for the general welfare of society. But hand in hand with the health measures, we should now prepare for an immediate economic recovery program as a pillar of societal resuscitation,” he said.
Minority Senator Risa Hontiveros also expressed her support to the quarantine extension.
“I am for the extension of the ECQ. Dahil sa April 14 pa lang magsisimula ang mass testing, dapat tuloy-tuloy ang ECQ kung gusto nating maging epektibo ito (Since mass testing will only start on April 14, the ECQ should be continued if we want it to be effective),” she said in a statement.
Hontiveros said lifting or modifying the ECQ should only be done if mass testing has already been done.
“Kailangan din na may sapat na proteksyon ang mga health workers at front-liners, at na-capacitate ang mga LGUs, mga barangay at mga tahanan (We should also assure that our health workers and front-liners have adequate protection, and LGUs, villages and individual homes have been capacitated),” Hontiveros said. (PNA)