Navotas City Mayor Toby Tiangco on Friday questioned the reasons cited by economic managers in pushing for the further relaxation of quarantine status in Metro Manila to Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) starting in March.
Tiangco, in a DWIZ interview, particularly asked: “Why have we made the children responsible for reviving the economy” by giving them access to more leisure activities and allowing them to go outside their houses despite the ongoing pandemic “when instead, they should be going to school?”
“What is the reason why they want to allow the children outside? It is to revive the economy,” Tiangco added in a phone interview with Manila Bulletin.
The mayor made the remark after 9 out of 17 Metro Manila mayors voted in favor of shifting into the more relaxed MGCQ from General Community Quarantine (GCQ), whose decisions were possibly influenced by economic managers who reportedly raised concerns about the country’s current economy during their meeting Wednesday.
“Parang ang gusto nila doon, dahil ‘pag sinama ang bata sa mall, kakain yung pamilya doon, parang ganon (What they are trying to say is if the parents bring their children to the malls, the whole family wiill have to dine in),” Tiangco said.
Tiangco pointed out that if economic managers already believe that children are now safe to go outside, then “why not also send them to school?”
“Kung safe talaga, unahin natin yung pag aaral nila (If it’s already safe to go outside, then prioritize the opening of physical classes),” the mayor said.
Tiangco, who voted against placing Metro Manila under MGCQ, asked “why should we not wait for the vaccine first” before having more relaxed quarantine rules, which might trigger more COVID-19 infections?
“Pag nag-lockdown ulit, sino ba ang mas mahihirapan? Mas mahihirapan ang working class, diba? (Who will suffer once a lockdown is imposed again? It’s the working class)” he asked, “Hindi na kakayanin ng gobyerno yun. Hindi na kakayanin ng negosyante. Lalong hinid kakayanin ng trabahador (The government, the businessmen, and the working people, especially, can no longer endure it).”