Senator Christopher “Bong” Go on Tuesday welcomed President Duterte’s position against the proposed conduct of face-to-face classes and putting the entire country under the less restrictive modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).
Go, chairman of the Senate health and demography committee, stressed that President Duterte is firm that the vaccine rollout must be accomplished first prior to easing such quarantine restrictions.
He quoted the President as saying, “Not to the best interest of the country… Magbakuna muna tayo (vaccination first)… Cannot in conscience allow these things to happen and something might get wrong…”
During an ambush interview right after his visit and distribution of assistance to informal market and ambulant vendors in Baclaran, Parañaque City yesterday, Go appealed to authorities to focus on vaccine rollout first before considering imposing MGCQ or allowing face-to-face classes.
“‘Yung about face-to-face class po, nagkausap po kami ni Pangulong Duterte bago pa po inanunsyo ni Secretary Harry Roque (On face to face classes, I and President Duterte talked about it before Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque announced it),” said Go.
“Nagkaroon na po kami ng diskusyon lang po, pribadong diskusyon ni Pangulong Duterte dahil talaga para sa amin delikado pa po na magkaroon ng face-to-face classe. Hintayin muna natin. Bakuna muna ((I had a private discussion with President Duterte because face-to-face classes are risky. Let us wait. Vaccination first),” Go said.
As for the proposed shift to MGCQ, Go said he personally believes that a shift to MGCQ without vaccination is dangerous.
“Pero kapag nakita na po ng tao na nag-uumpisa na po ‘yung pagbabakuna, puwede na po siguro. Puwede na nating balansehin po ang lahat, ekonomiya, at itong health protocols natin (When people see that the vaccination program has started, it may be time. We can now balance all factors, the economy, health protocols),” he added.
He then assured the public that the government is closely monitoring progress of the country’s vaccination program.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque eventually announced that Duterte has given his directive to the Cabinet that the Philippines would not be placed under MGCQ unless there is a rollout of vaccines.
“The Chief Executive recognizes the importance of re-opening the economy and its impact on people’s livelihoods. However, the President gives higher premium to public health and safety,” Roque said in a statement.
“PRRD also wants vaccination to start the soonest possible time in order to ease the community quarantine,” he added.