A civic group hit the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) a day before the implementation of the alert level system and granular lockdowns in Metro Manila.
In a statement, the Council for People’s Development and Governance (CPDG) said the new types of community quarantines “do not offer anything new and will be as ineffectual in containing the pandemic as before” as the government still refuse to spend on mass testing, contact tracing, and making selective quarantine more convenient for at-risk people.
“The implementation of either ECQ or GCQ by whatever name repeats the failure of the government’s pandemic response. It still focuses on closures and restrictions while confusing to the people and merely giving the illusion of action,” CPDG Spokesperson Liza Maza said.
Maza also lambasted the administration’s refusal to talk about the “much-needed” financial assistance for the poorest families.
Civil society groups and public officials have been clamoring for the increased funding for the pandemic response, including shifting to a more public health-centered approach.
“The government still chooses to ignore the people’s needs and interest and still focuses on its futile and counterproductive goals. Next year’s budget allocation shows its blatant negligence,” Maza said.
“The public and civil society must speak out even louder in calling for the government to respond better to the pandemic, instead of merely playing with words and terms. The collective voice of the people shall shape the outcomes of the next administration, and how public funds shall be used,” she ended.
Granular lockdowns and an alert level system will be piloted in Metro Manila from Sept. 16 to 30.
Under the new scheme, there will be alert levels declared over each city or municipality – Alert Levels 1 to 4.