House special session photo op: ‘We went to work for you, so please stay home for us’
MANILA, Philippines — “Together with doctors and frontliners, we went to work for you, so please stay home for us.”
With these words written on a Manila paper they were holding, a facemask-wearing Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, as well as other legislators of the lower chamber, posed for a photo during the House of Representatives’ special session on Monday.
The special session was called to tackle a Palace-proposed measure that would deal with the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
In his opening speech, Cayetano lamented how many Filipinos are not observing social distancing despite the enhanced community quarantine placed all over Luzon.
“Marami pa rin po sa ating kababayan ang hindi nagso-social distancing. Medyo parang piyesta pa sa kanilang lugar, nagiinuman sa tabi and they don’t see that we can become dangerous to each other,” Cayetano said.
(Many of our countrymen are still not observing social distancing. It seemed there are still fiestas in their communities, drinking on the side of a street, and they don’t see that we can become dangerous to each other.)
A report by the Associated Press defined “social distancing” as the process of limiting people to gather and spreading the virus—a move that is being practiced in Italy and Japan where there are also reported positive cases of the disease.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier placed the entire Luzon under enhanced community quarantine in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Under the enhanced community quarantine, “strict home quarantine shall be implemented in all households; transportation shall be suspended; provision for food and essential services shall be regulated, and heightened presence of uniformed personnel to enforce quarantine procedures will be implemented.”
As of posting, there are already 396 people infected with COVID-19 in the Philippines. Of this, 33 has died while 18 managed to recover from the highly-infectious respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2, which originally started in China’s Wuhan City in Hubei province in late 2019.
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