Be vigilant as NCR shifts to GCQ, Concepcion urges private sector

By MB Online

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion appealed for more vigilance and continuous testing as the National Capital Region (NCR) and other areas eases to the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) starting yesterday, June 1, 2020

Presidential adviser on entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN) Presidential adviser on entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion

Concepcion made the appeal as he announced back-to-back efforts of the private sector and the government on mitigating COVID-19 through Project ARK rapid testing, PCR initiative, and Seroprevalence testing.

He emphasized that while the private sector is allowed to open again, there are still risks of infections. “I’m encouraging everyone to be more vigilant. A second lockdown will be devastating for the livelihoods of our MSMEs and large corporations. The good effects of the government’s stimulus package will be negated if this happens. And what is worst is that many may lose hope.”

He also encouraged that testing of employees should be done regularly on a voluntary basis.

“For us to keep the economy continuously open, we need to maintain clear visibility through regular testing of employees and LGUs that we are helping. Whether we use RT-PCR or rapid test kits, whatever testing methods are available out there that give us good visibility is what we have to do. We must use all the tools available to us at the moment to protect the lives and livelihood of our people and to effectively fight COVID-19. Let us not be complacent. The war is still on until we find a cure,” Concepcion shared.

Concepcion’s Project ARK has taken the steps to boost both rapid and PCR testing around the country, while the government has made great strides, under the leadership of Secretary Carlito Galvez, to construct more COVID-19 facilities. The initiative has partnered to more than 300 companies and raised more than 1.2 million rapid test kits plus activating and automating 12 hospitals and adding more 12,000 testing capacity through the help of ARK-PCR Private Sector Chief Implementor Jannette Garin. The private and the public sector is working closely and doing all possible means to curb the virus.

“We will also conduct a Seroprevalence test in NCR and Calabarzon on top of what companies are doing. The data gathered from the private sector’s continuous effort in testing, the data from the LGUs we are supporting such as Antipolo, Manila City, Batangas, Quezon City, Pasig, Taguig, and Makati, and the Seroprevalence test that will happen in June, will allow better mapping of infections all over the country, and it will serve as the basis for the decisions by LGU leaders with regards to lockdowns. However, this time, the lockdown approach will be more focused, opting for selective barangay quarantines so that commerce can continue,” he added.

“As we gain more information and better understand the disease, we must constantly evaluate and recalibrate our plans and methods. Again, we do not know everything about this disease and are adjusting strategy as more information comes in. We are making the best decisions now based on what we know and have now. With more data, we can achieve greater visibility and our decisions can be guided accordingly by facts and science,” Concepcion shared.