By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Malacañang appealed to the public to remain patient and calm as the government deals with the growing threat of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country, acknowledging that there may have been missteps and confusion in the implementation of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles reminded the public that the Philippines can get past the pandemic if everybody works together while keeping a cool head.
“As the government and its instrumentalities work to contain COVID-19, there may be missteps and misunderstandings, confusion and conjecture, frustration, and fear,” he admitted in a press conference in Malacanang late Wednesday.
“We appeal for patience and calm as we and the whole world face an unprecedented crisis–one that can be overcome if all of us focus at the singular task at hand: saving each other’s life,” he added.
On Wednesday, the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases issued a bulletin detailing the do’s and don’ts during the enhanced community quarantine being implemented in Luzon which will be in effect until April 13.
Included in the list are the quarantine guidelines, the people allowed to go out, work guidelines, travel restrictions, and establishments and services that should continue to operate.
Nograles said President Duterte acknowledged and lauded the effort of the private sector and private citizens that have all pitched in during these trying times. He encouraged everybody to do their part in stopping the pandemic.
“They have exhibited the kind of bayanihan spirit that will help us confront the challenges we currently face. We appeal to everyone to follow their lead and do their share,” he said.
“In this war against this silent and tenacious enemy, everyone can contribute to the defeat of COVID-19 by staying home, by cooperating with authorities, and assiduously following the advisories issued by the government,” he added.
The Palace official likewise expressed their gratitude to the local government units (LGUs) for following the guidelines and for their initiatives to address the needs of their constituents.
“Hindi namin magagawa sa national ito kung wala pong tulong ng ating LGUs kaya paulit-ulit po kaming nagpapasalamat (We in the national government cannot do this without the help of the LGUs so we thank them repeatedly),” Nograles said.
“Si Pangulong Duterte nagpapasalamat sa ating mga LGUs, sa lahat ng mga initiatives, cooperation at support na binibigay nila kay Pangulong Duterte at ng buong national government (President Duterte also thanks our LGUs for their initiatives, cooperation, and support to him and the national government),” he added.
Duterte placed the entire Luzon under an enhanced community quarantine until April 13 to contain the spread of COVID-19. In an address early this week, the President asked the LGUs for their cooperation as the government works on addressing the problem.