DTI chief favors downgrading quarantine status in some parts of PH to MGCQ

MANILA, Philippines — Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez favors the downgrading of quarantine status in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) into the more lenient modified GCQ once the curent status ends this month.

During the Laging Handa public briefing on Monday, Lopez said he believes that the public has already learned how to move in their daily lives despite the presence of the coronavirus disease, six months since lockdowns were imposed.

“Sa akin pong paniwala—ito po ay sa akin lang—maaari po natin i-push ang mas magaan na community quarantine, subalit ang important po ay may self-discipline, at self-regulation ang buong bayan para talagang bumaba pa rin ang transmission kahit modified GCQ, that will allow us to open more sectors in the economy,” he said.

(In my belief, we can push for a more relaxed community quarantine but it is important that people will still have self-discipline and self-regulation so that the transmission of the virus will still go down despite GCQ, which will allow us to open more sectors in the economy.)

Lopez, however, noted that health protocols and “aggressive” efforts for isolation, contact tracing, and testing should continue.

“Kapag ginawa po natin ito, naniniwala po ako na kahit modified GCQ ay makocontrol natin at mapapababa natin ang transmission at sa ganun po ay mabuksan na natin ‘yung remaining part ng economy,” he added.

(I believe that if we do these, even if it’s modified GCQ, we can control the transmission rate and therefore open the remaining part of our economy.)

After all, several parts of the country are already under MGCQ, the Trade chief pointed out.

Nevertheless, Lopez said the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases will still examine the data on COVID-19 to determine if other parts of the country can already move to MGCQ.