Palace: GCQ bubble not a lockdown since economy is open
MANILA, Philippines — The general community quarantine (GCQ) “bubble” that has been placed over Metro Manila and four neighboring provinces is not a lockdown because the economy remains open, Malacañang said Tuesday.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said that during a lockdown, such as the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) or modified ECQ, businesses were closed to reduce the number of people who leave their homes.
In the GCQ bubble, businesses remained open.
“Bukas ang ekonomiya. Wala pong lockdown,” Roque said in a Palace briefing.
(There is no lockdown. The economy is open.)
“It’s a limitation on mobility na nagdadahilan para tumaas ang kaso ng COVID-19 pero bukas po ang ating ekonomiya,” he added.
(It’s a limitation on mobility that is causing a spike in COVID-19 cases, yet our economy is still open.)
Former Vice President Jejomar Binay earlier claimed that the government refuses to call the GCQ bubble a lockdown because it would be an “admission of their failure, neglect, and incompetence.”
Roque also denied that the government is refusing to call it a lockdown to avoid distributing cash aid, like those under the Social Amelioration Program, to affected families since it has no longer funds for that.
“Government can always provide for ayuda (cash aid) and in fact local government units are providing ayuda for those subject to localized lockdown,” he said.
“Pero kaya natin binubuksan natin ang ekonomiya dahil ninanais natin ay hindi tatanggap ng ayuda ang ating mga kababayan kundi magkaroon ng pagkakataon na makapag-hanap buhay dahil karapatan nila yan,” he added.
(But we are opening up the economy because we want our countrymen to be able to make a living because they have the right to do so, not because we want them to receive assistance.)
He said the cash aid “will never be enough” and cannot be a “substitute” to workers’ income.
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