Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go reiterated Sunday his appeal for the public to continue observing COVID-19 health protocols especially during this holiday season as the threat of this pandemic remains.
Go, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, said the public should avoid holding mass gatherings and parties as much as possible to enable the government to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
The senator said that while he understands the important role of family gatherings during Christmas, the safety and lives of loved ones against COVID-19 should be the primordial concern.
“Ako, dine-discourage ko po ang (On my part, I’m discouraging) any party, any celebration. Maaaring magkahawaan ng sakit (Anyone could get infected),” Go said.
“Safety first. Para sa akin, unahin muna natin ang kalusugan ng ating mga kababayan. Mas importante sa akin ang buhay ng bawat Pilipino (For me, I believe we should prioritize the health of our people. The lives of each Filipino are more important to me),” he said.
Go had earlier urged the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to provide the public proper guidance on health and safety protocols that would be imposed, particularly in any form of gathering as Christmas season approaches.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said that Metro Manila is still under General Community Quarantine (GCQ), which allows some activities, including mall sales, in a bid to revive the Philippine economy, as agreed upon by the IATF.
But Duque said the IATF would have to review its guidelines regarding the holding of Christmas parties and other gatherings to avoid a spike in the number of COVID-19 affected individuals.
Go said he acknowledges the government’s need to slowly reopen the economy while still imposing necessary health and safety protocols to protect Filipinos amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, but urged everyone to remember that health and safety should be prioritized when government makes decisions.
“Ang pera po ay kikitain natin pero ‘yung perang kikitain natin ay hindi mabibili ang buhay (Money can be earned but it can’t buy a life). A life lost is a life lost forever,” he stressed.
Go also said Filipinos should remain vigilant and continue complying with health protocols while a vaccine for the virus is still in development.
He assured that the Duterte administration will prioritize the poor and marginalized sector in the COVID-10 vaccination program once the shots have been procured.
“Kasama natin ang ating pamilya, pero wala munang parties dahil delikado pa po habang wala pa pong vaccine, no time to celebrate, ‘wag muna tayong mag-celebrate, ang importante kasama natin pamilya sa isang bahay (We are spending time with our family but let’s not hold parties because it’s still dangerous, while there’s still no vaccine, no time to celebrate. Let’s forego the celebration, what is important is we are with our families in one house),” said Go.