Groups condemned government’s announcement of plans to put Metro Manila and and provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan, and Rizal under the strictest quarantine measure anew.
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) said the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) recommendation to President Rodrigo Duterte for another round of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) is a display of “never-ending cycle of incompetence.”
“We are going back to ECQ but without the government assurance that there will be increased free mass testing, better contact tracing and increased capacity of our hospitals including more health workers. We are going back to ECQ without the assurance of aid for the economically displaced,” Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. said.
Reyes said the IATF recommendation again places the burden and sacrifice squarely on the people.
“We cannot merely rely on lockdowns to stop the spread of COVID. The lockdowns are only supposed to buy government time to beef up the health care system,” Reyes added.
In a Facebook post on March 27, Presidential spokesperson Herminio Roque Jr said the ECQ shall again involve the heightened presence of uniformed personnel to enforce community quarantine protocols.
Curfew shall also be imposed from six o’clock in the evening to five o’clock the next morning.
Nearly 10,000 new cases daily are being reported in the Philippines in the past few days, the worst in the Western Pacific.
Migrante International also scored the announcement, saying the new lockdown measures only show the Duterte government has failed in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
Migrante said the government’s militaristic response is to blame for the country’s failure to check the spread of the virus, including its new variants.
“Kaya po sa pagbabalik ng ECQ sa ating bansa, ang kailangan po natin ngayon ay panagutin ang mga nagkasala, ang mga nagkulang at naging palpak mula nang unang ipatupad ang lockdown noong isang taon,” Migrante International said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)