With the arrival of the country’s first batch of COVID-19 vaccines, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go on Monday said that President Duterte would be carefully studying again the proposed nationwide shift to the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) with the help of experts.
Go, chairman of the Senate health committee, said that the President has regularly been reviewing the community quarantine policy in the country.
“The President will be carefully studying with the help of experts. Based on good science (ang) decision ni Pangulo (the decision of the President),” Go added.
Go, former Special Assistant to Duterte, stressed that once the President has seen the start of the vaccine rollout, he would be more open to the idea of further easing quarantine restrictions to reopen the rest of the economy.
“Dahan-dahan naman po ang pagbababa sa MGCQ. Dahan-dahan dahil delikado pa rin po habang nandiyan ang COVID-19. Palaging iniisip ni Pangulong Duterte ang buhay at kalusugan ng bawat Pilipino. Unahin natin ang kalusugan at buhay ng bawat Pilipino (MGCQ will go down slowly. It has to be slowly because it is still dangerous while the COVID-19 is still around. The President has always prioritized the lives and health of the Filipinos),” he added.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in an announcement that Duterte has approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to place Apayao, Baguio City, Kalinga, Metro Manila, Mountain Province, Batangas, Tacloban City, Iligan City, Davao City and Lanao del Sur under GCQ until March 31.
The rest of the country, meanwhile, will be under MGCQ.
As for the conduct of physical classes, President Duterte said he is not yet open to allow face-to-face classes.
Go suggested to consider it in the next school year when it is already safe and vaccination has commenced. This will also give education institutions, authorities and students time to prepare.
“Ibig sabihin, bigyan muna natin ang DepEd ng panahon para mag-prepare sa next school year. Importante masimulan na ang vaccine rollout (This means, we have to give the DepEd ample time to prepare for the next school year. What is important is that we have started the vaccine rollout),” he added.