The Department of Health (DOH) is now taking the side of gradually reopening the Philippine economy by placing the whole country under the most lenient modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) status by March.
“It is the direction of the government. We have been on strict lockdown for about a year and we have to look at the other side of the fence and that is our economy, that is what we see. And there are also health consequences for a poor economy. That’s why we have to balance out things,” DOH Undersecretary Rosario Vergeire said partly in Filipino over the televised Laging Handa press conference, answering queries on the government’s proposal to shift to MGCQ by next month.
However, even as Vergeire said there is a need to consider economic issues in the face of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, she said that local government units should “step up” and intensify “surveillance efforts” to prevent a spike on Covid cases in case a shift to MGCQ is made.
Malacañang said on Friday that there is a chance President Rodrigo Duterte can be convinced to impose the most relaxed MGCQ in the entire Philippines.This, after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and Metro Manila mayors have agreed to recommend the implementation of MGCQ status nationwide.
“We expect that since both IATF and Metro Manila mayors have sought [the imposition of MGCQ in the country], perhaps the President might also agree),” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in an interview with PTV-4. SOVEREIGNPH