We fully support the need to address concerns of health workers. How can we help our frontliners? They need more support in all aspects.
Health care workforce, relievers, beds, facilities, equipment, expanding testing capacities, tracing etc., as well as living quarters for frontliners, logistics, and other needs. We should find ways.

But it would be difficult to go back to Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). Returning to a stricter ECQ would be damaging to people’s health–with unemployment and poverty affecting health and wellness and nutrition intake. It will also affect long-term health and capacity to learn for children.

We need to manage and live with the virus which is here to stay. This means balancing health AND the economy.

There are now other ways like granular lockdowns (building, street, baranggay), massive tracing, testing, isolation, treatment and stricter compliance to health protocol in transportation and business establishments. We have been very careful in reopening sectors focusing on those with highest impact on livelihood and micro SMEs. Aside from these, we also made it clear to have very strict compliance to health protocols, otherwise we close the stores until they correct their deficiencies.

We are also adding face shield as a requirement to strengthen the protection up to 99% against transmission. This is encouraged now and may be made mandatory in public places and transport, in the near future.♦

Date of Release: 2 August 2020