Sotto: Some Filipinos’ lack of quarantine compliance a ‘bigger headache’
MANILA, Philippines — The failure of some Filipinos to comply with quarantine protocols is the “bigger headache” than how the government is handling the coronavirus pandemic, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said.
“Ano mas malaking problema? I think the compliance of the people, mas malaking sakit ng ulo ‘yon kesa dun sa programa,” Sotto told reporters in an online interview on Tuesday.
(What’s the bigger problem? I think the compliance of the people, that’s a bigger headache than the programs).
Sotto was asked what he thought was the bigger problem between the public’s quarantine compliance or the government’s programs against the COVID-19 crisis.
“The reason I say that is, yung mga programa natin, mga protocols natin, lalo na nung umpisa pa lang yung lockdown pa lang… it’s the same thing that were done in other countries and they are all successful, in those countries na sumunod,” he said.
(The reason I say that is our programs, our protocols, especially those enforced in the beginning, like the lockdown, it’s the same thing that were done in other countries and they are all successful, in those countries where everyone complied).
“Pero in those countries na matitigas ang ulo. Tignan mo Amerika, tignan mo Europa, tignan mo ang Pilipinas. Kaya siguro kung hahatiin natin ‘yan, kung saan ang mga pagkukulang, mas malaki pagkukulang natin, ng mga kababayan natin na hindi sumusunod,” he added.
(But in those countries where residents are hard-headed. Look at America, look at Europe, look at the Philippines. That’s why if you will look at it, if we weigh where the shortcoming is, you will find that the biggest shortcoming is the failure to comply of fellow Filipinos.)
He further lamented that some Filipinos seemed to have thrown caution to the wind when Metro Manila was placed under the less stringent general community quarantine (GCQ).
“I think there’s something wrong with our attitude, there’s something wrong with the character being seen among us. Sa atin, mga kababayan natin, tayo. Parang ang tingin nila tapos na yung problema, wala na. Sige lang, labas nang labas. Padami tuloy nang padami ngayon (Some of us Filipinos, they think that the problem is gone. Some people are always going out, that’s why the number of cases are rising),” he said.
“May mga nagiinuman, may mga nagpupunta sa bar. Labas nang labas e. Nawala na yung pagiingat (Some have gone drinking and started going to the bar. Always going out. Caution is gone),” he added.
President Rodrigo Duterte is set to announce new quarantine classifications for Metro Manila and other provinces.
Metro Manila and several other areas are under general community quarantine until June 30. Cebu City is under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) while Talisay City is under modified ECQ.
“It’s better if the government will be selective and retain GCQ in some areas in the National Capital Region (NCR),” Sotto suggested.
Share the responsibility
According to Sotto, the public and the government should share the responsibility in the fight against the pandemic.
“Ang responsibilidad ay nasa ating lahat, hindi pwedeng puro sa gobyerno lang. Kasi ‘pag puro inasa mo sa gobyerno ‘yan, kapag merong ginawang paghihigpit, pipintasan natin. ‘Pag ginawang medyo luwag ng konti, aangal naman at meron namang mangyayaring masama,” he said.
(The responsibility is on all of us, we cannot lay everything on the government’s lap. Because if we do, if the government imposes restrictions, people will criticize. If the government loosens up the restrictions, people will oppose and bad things will happen.)
“Ang responsibilidad ay nasa atin din (The responsibility is our, too). We should share the responsibility with the government so we can all finally overcome these challenges that the country and the world is facing),” he added.
To date, Philippine health officials have confirmed 36,438 COVID-19 cases in the country. Of the number, 9,956 have recovered while 1,255 have died from the disease.
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