Here's why granular lockdowns in NCR make sense for Concepcion

Published September 6, 2021, 6:12 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

Subjecting areas in Metro Manila under “granular lockdowns” or strict localized lockdowns is an idea that Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion can get behind.

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo Founder Joey Concepcion (Photo from Go Negosyo Facebook page)

“I agree with the government’s move towards granular lockdowns, which will be data-driven approach to halt COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) spread. It is time that we try new approaches, and clearly this is the time when we need to learn to live with COVID-19,” Concepcion said in a statement Monday, Sept. 6.

Concepcion, who has been very active in proposing to the government ways by which it can manage the health crisis alongside the need to reopen the economy, noted similarities between the granular lockdown approach and his very own “Bakuna (vaccine) Bubble” proposal.

“This is the reason why I am proposing to test the ‘Bakuna Bubble.’ This is the same approach that the government is doing now. With granular lockdowns, our bakuna bubble starts with the family bubble by getting them all vaccinated. We can get the business bubble by having all of our employees vaccinated, and of course the transport sector as well by getting all frontliners vaccinated,” he noted.

Metro Manila or the National Capital Region (NCR) will shift from a modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) to a general community quarantine (GCQ) starting Wednesday, Sept. 8. However, this GCQ will feature the pilot-testing of the more-focused granular lockdowns.

For Concepcion, this move will be a “step forward” in the metropolis due to local chief executive’s familiarity of the areas they already handle.

“We expect greater participation from local government heads in this effort as they fully know the landscape much better. The barangay chairmen play a key role in the success of the granular lockdowns. The success of these sectors getting vaccinated relies on the barangay captains. The parents will lead the family bubble while the CEOs and entrepreneurs will lead the business bubble,” he said.

“Attaining a minimum of 90 percent fully-vaccinated Philippine bubble will prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed as the percentage of fully-vaccinated people being confined in hospitals is at about 30 percent and the chance of getting to the ICU is very minimal,” he added.

It can be recalled that the said localized approach to containing the spread of COVID-19 was also Concepcion’s proposal to President Duterte after their meeting last year.

He also explained that the implementation of granular lockdowns can go side-by-side with the measure he has proposed. According to the Go Negosyo founder, these measures are only aimed at preventing the unvaccinated from contracting subsequent COVID-19 infections.

“So we should allow the vaccinated to have more mobility so they can create economic activity while protecting the unvaccinated from entering high-risk establishments, such as restaurants, parlors, and others. The unvaccinated can still move around with less risky establishments, which the LGUs and IATF can define,” he said.

Next Monday, Sept. 13, Concepcion and MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos are expected to lead another town hall with the private sector to discuss how granular lockdowns can efficiently be maximized to fight COVID-19.