The primordial concern now is to save lives, economy comes second, Senator Christopher ‘’Bong’’ Go said on Wednesday, March 31.
‘’As one nation, we must continue to balance our economic welfare and the protection of the health of our people. But between the two, our primordial concern now is to save lives,’’ Go said.
The chairman of the Senate health committee issued this statement when asked if he favors the recommendation of the Department of Health (DOH) to extend for another two weeks the imposition of a restrictive Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in the National Capital Region (NCR), Rizal, Laguna, Cavite and Bulacan, or the “NCR plus” bubble.
Go said the government is currently monitoring coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the country, particularly in critical areas.
‘’Iniiwasan po nating lumaki pa lalo ang bilang ng mga kaso at kumalat pa lalo ito sa ibang lugar kaya tayo nag-impose ng ECQ hanggang April 4 (We are seeking to prevent COVID-19 from increasing and spreading that is why government imposed ECQ until April 4),’’ he said.
Go said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases will meet on Saturday before making a recommendation to President Duterte whether the week-long lockdown should be extended or not.
‘’Umaapela ako sa IATF na pag-aralan ito ng mabuti at magkaroon ng cost-benefit analysis sa kanilang rekomendasyon (I appealed to the IATF to study carefully and conduct a cost-benefit analysis in its recommendation),’’ he said.
‘’Sikapin nating hindi na sana habaan pa ang ECQ dahil malaking dagok ito sa kabuhayan ng mga Pilipino (Let us make sure not to extend too long ECQ because the lockdown has negative effects on Filipinos),’’ he stressed.
‘’Pero kung patuloy pa rin ang pagtaas ng kaso ng COVID-19, wala tayong choice kundi maghigpit pa rin dahil babagsak naman ang ating health system kapag mapuno pa lalo ang mga ospital at isolation facilities (But if COVID-19 cases continue to rise, we have no choice because our health system will be badly affected as hospitals and isolation facilities will be full),’’ he added.
Go emphasized that quarantine measures would be meaningless if people are not disciplined.
People should take precautions and cooperate with health authorities, he reiterated.
‘’Sumunod tayo sa mga itinakdang health protocols para hindi na magkahawahan at hindi na kailanganin pang pahabain ang ECQ (Let us follow health protocols to prevent infections so that ECQ would not be extended),’’ Go said.