MANILA – Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso on Monday said he is leaning towards a general community quarantine (GCQ) as he stressed that government resources are now depleting.
He said the city government of Manila has already spent around PHP2 billion in food and relief packs alone and that if the distribution of the social amelioration program continues, the government will not be able to give anything anymore.
“I want to normalize, honestly. I tend to GCQ. Buhay and kabuhayan (life and livelihood) come together. We cannot just address Covid-19 alone as a government without resources, because existing resources are depleting already,” he said in an online presser.
He also believes that businesses should now be reopened or else people will lose their jobs.
“The more we prolong the enhanced community quarantine, companies will close, jobs will be lost. These are undeniable facts because companies cannot afford to exist without income, without production,” he added.
He called on Manilenyos to continue to follow preventive measures such as washing of hands, wearing face masks, physical and social distancing, and avoiding unnecessary mingling.
“Talagang mahirap. Mahirap talagang buksan. Pero mas mahirap na sarado tayo, pero still, tao, anxiety level ang taas. Naiinip, ang init, walang trabaho, walang income, tapos kami sa gobyerno, maaari, hindi naman lahat, maaari inefficient in providing assistance (It’s challenging and hard. But its more difficult that stores are closed. People tend to be more anxious. They get bored, the weather is hot, they have no jobs, no income. And we in the government, maybe not all, are inefficient in providing assistance),” he added.
Domagoso believes that fighting the pandemic will boil down to the habit and behavior of the people.
He also expressed fear that people are forgetting that the real problem is the pandemic, but people only think about the government assistance being given to them.
“Ayokong kalimutan ng tao na ang problema natin hindi ang social amelioration, hindi PHP8,000 (cash aid), hindi three kilos of rice, hindi yun ang problema natin, ang problema natin si Covid-19 (I don’t want people to forget that the real problem is not the social amelioration program, not the PHP8,000 cash aid, not the three kilos of rice. Those are not the problem, our problem is the Covid-19),” he said.
“Baka nakakaligtaan natin at araw-araw ang hinahanap natin kung ano tulong ng gobyerno, (Maybe we are forgetting that, and that everyday we only ask about the help coming from the government),” he added.
The city government of Manila has ramped up its mass testing using the Rapid Testing Kits or RTK and the swabbing method.
Quarantine facilities (QFs) are also being prepared, aimed at providing a 500-bed capacity.
Basketball courts, sports complex, and even schools are now being converted into QF’s like the Tondo Sports Complex, Patricia Sports Complex, Dapitan Sports Complex, and the Araullo High School along Taft Avenue, aside from those already set up like the Del Pan quarantine facility built a month ago.
More than 2,000 individuals are being tested per day in Manila and that eventually, if lifted to GCQ, Domagoso said companies will also be given free assistance by testing their employees.
He also bared that they are launching a new technology that will identify people infected with the virus within a 300-meter radius environment, real-time.
“Basically we are ready. Sapat ba kami? That remains to be seen. Ayoko pangunahan, but prepared ba kami? We are preparing (Do we have enough? That remains to be seen, I don’t want to preempt, but are we prepared? We are preparing),” he said. (ia/PNA)