Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra on Sunday said placing back the National Capital Region (NCR) under the more stringent enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) as suggested by several groups of medical frontliners would result in workers dying of hunger.
“I understand where our medical and health professionals are coming from. They are expectedly getting weary. I agree that they need all the support and care that the government can provide,” Guevarra said.
“But everyone else is getting weary. Millions of people need to go back to work and earn a living, or else they die of hunger. We need to stir the economy back to life, albeit gradually, lest we reach a point where it will be doubly difficult to recover,” he added.
“All of us have to make personal sacrifices for the common good. All these will come to pass, and when it’s all over the nation will remember with gratitude those who were heroes during this dreadful pandemic. Our doctors, nurses, and other health workers surely top them all.”
NCR and other parts of the country are under general community quarantine (GCQ) until Aug. 31.
Guevarra is a member of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
Forty medical societies, spearheaded by the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP), have asked President Duterte to place Metro Manila anew under ECQ to check effectively the rising cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The President has directed IATF to look into and act immediately on the concerns raised by the health frontliners.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque II said the health workers’ plea will be taken up by the IATF.