By Vanne Terrazola
The government should continue to provide social support and assistance to affected sectors after the easing of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. said Wednesday.
He made the appeal as he stressed that some sectors will not yet return to normalcy despite the relaxed quarantine measures being considered to open some industries.
President Duterte last Monday said he might declare a “modified quarantine” in some areas where essential businesses will be partially opened, while still curbing the spread of the COVID-19.
One sector Revilla specified was that of working senior citizens who, based on recommendations, will still be confined in their homes post-ECQ.
“These workers over 60, who provide not only for themselves but also for their families, gusto na nila maghanapbuhay (they want to return to work). But they will still be prohibited from working,” he said in a statement.
“Sabi nga nila, kung hindi COVID ang makadale sa kanila, malamang gutom na (As they said COVID might not kill them, but hunger will),” he added.
While acknowledging that senior citizens are vulnerable to the coronavirus infection, the administration ally said their concerns “should not be set aside.”
Until they are allowed to work, government must ensure that help is delivered to them, Revilla said.
“Hindi natin sila dapat pabayaan (We should not neglect them), otherwise, we should consider allowing them to work if they belong to any of the business sectors that will be opening up and normalizing,” Revilla said.
Duterte recently extended until May 15 the ECQ in Metro Manila and other areas that are high risk for coronavirus outbreak. Areas with moderate or low risk, on the other hand, will be placed under general community quarantine starting May 1.
Under a general community quarantine, public transportation may operate at reduced capacity while certain establishments will be allowed to operate subject to minimum health standards.
Children to adults aged 20, and elderly (60 years old and above) would still be not allowed to go out of their homes.