Local government units should be part of the national government’s decision to ease quarantine restrictions in a move to revive the country’s economy, Vice President Leni Robredo said.
Robredo, an opposition leader, said she supports the standardization of travel protocols, but she expressed concern for LGUs that are trying to contain the new coronavirus.
“Okay sa akin ang standardization (The standardization is okay with me),” she said over dzXL Sunday, Feb. 28 “Pero hindi din sa akin okay na inalis na ang testing saka quarantine protocols (But it’s not okay with me that testing and quarantine protocols were removed).”
Although she recognizes the need for people to travel again to open up the economy, Robredo warned that it might cause a surge in COVID-19 cases.
“Para sa akin delikado iyon lalo pa ngayon na mataas ang cases natin (For me, that’s dangerous, especially now we have high cases),” she said.
The vice president noted that in the early days of the pandemic, the cases are concentrated in Metro Manila.
“Pero noong nagkaroon ng LSIs (locally stranded individuals), nag-spread na all over the country. Ayaw na sana natin mangyari ngayon (But when the LSIs started going home, it spread all over the country. We don’t want that to happen now).”
The government has announced that there will be no more testing and quarantine requirements for travelers upon the approval of the unified travel protocols by its task force against COVID-19.
Robredo cited this was what she has been suggesting since last year.
While she approves of standardizing the travel protocols, she stressed that this must be done in coordination with the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) and representatives from LGUs, giving them a voice in the decision-making process.
“Sana pinag-aaralan nang maayos. Hindi lang ito parati lang tayong bubuksan ang economy. Ang pinakasusi sa pagbukas ng economy ang bakuna. Iyon ang tutukan natin (It should be studied properly. We’re always just talking about opening the economy. The key to fixing the economy is the vaccine. That’s where we should focus on),” she said.