By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Despite criticisms, Malacañang said it was not regretting any of the policies or measures it has enforced to address the COVID-19 pandemic since they were all done to protect the health of the public.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement following criticisms about the Philippines having the world’s longest lockdown that started on March 15.
In an interview with ANC’s “Headstart” on Wednesday, Roque said there were no regrets about the government’s moves since it prevented the number of COVID-19 deaths from skyrocketing.
“I think we made the right move because, in terms of deaths, we’ve had [around] a thousand compared to the hundreds of thousands who have already died in places like the United States,” he said.
“So, I don’t think there’s any regret about what we have implemented. We have protected our people,” he added.
The World Health Organization (WHO) revealed in its website that as of June 16, the US still leads the COVID-19 death toll with 115,484 deaths. This is followed by Brazil, 44,332; the United Kingdom, 41,736; Italy, 34,371; France, 29,373; and Spain, 27,136.
Roque said the government is exploring the possibility of implementing localized lockdowns as what has always been suggested by the business sector.
“We’re hoping that in the near future, we’ll recover from the economic losses we suffered because of a policy decision to uphold the right to life,” he said.
Malacañang has allowed almost all industries to operate under the general community quarantine (GCQ), Metro Manila’s current lockdown level.
On Monday, President Duterte retained the status quo for Metro Manila under the GCQ while he escalated Cebu City to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and Talisay City to modified ECQ.
He said the approved quarantine classifications may still change after he meets with the business sector this week.
President Duterte has been deciding on the country’s quarantine based on healthcare capacity and the economy.