Robredo deplores ‘confusing’ quarantine strategy as 'detrimental' to small businesses

Published September 12, 2021, 12:41 PM

by Raymund Antonio

The government’s changing quarantine classifications and labels are very confusing, Vice President Leni Robredo said on Sunday, September 12, noting that small businesses are the ones suffering the most from it.

Vice President Leni Robredo (Jansen Romero/Manila Bulletin)

“Ang dami na nating (We are using too many) terms na ginamit na kahit ako litong-lito na ako. Pati ‘yung (that even I am getting confused. Even the) definition ng (of) terms umiiba (is changing),” she stated.

“Parang napaglalaruan iyong buhay ng mga tao. Sana bago magkaroon ng (It’s like they’re playing with people’s lives. Hopefully, before they make) any announcement mag-usap muna nang maayos. Huwag magkakaroon ng desisyon na iaannounce na hindi pa napag-aaralan nang husto kasi nasusubo talaga ‘yung mga tao (they talk first. Don’t make a decision that you will announce without studying it well because the people are being forced into a situation beyond their control),” Robredo said.

The vice president was reacting to the deferred pilot implementation of the new alert level systems in the National Capital Region (NCR) that will be implemented from September 16 to 30. It will be recalled that Malacañang had announced its pilot implementation starting September 7 but revoked the order a day before it was scheduled to take effect.

READ: New COVID-19 Alert Levels System in NCR: Do’s and Don’ts

Under the latest revised guidelines approved by President Duterte, there will only be two quarantine classifications: ECQ and GCQ .

ECQ has five alert levels ranging from “most sectors are not allowed” to “full capacity with minimum public health standards” while GCQ has four alert levels with classified industries ranging from closed to crowded to close contact industries.

During her weekly radio show, Robredo chose not to discuss the quarantine classifications anymore because it might still change and those who are listening to her will get more confused.

The opposition leader instead criticized the sudden changes in the quarantine status that affect small businesses, especially restaurants that already shopped for their ingredients.

READ: Metro Manila to remain under MECQ as GCQ + granular lockdown set-up gets deferred

“Nirecall na yung kanilang mga empleyado, namalengke na tapos binawi (They already called back their employees, they bought ingredients, then it got withdrawn at the) last minute. Ang dami nilang lugi (They had many losses),” Robredo said.

She was referring to a viral post of a restaurant owner who got ready to reopen her business on Wednesday, September 8, because the government initially announced the shift to GCQ in Metro Manila. But at the last minute, the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases announced that the MECQ will remain until September 15, forcing her restaurant to close against diners again.

READ: ‘Flip-flopping’ in COVID-19 policies explained; Roque asks for public understanding