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Go pushes 7-point agenda amid MECQ

Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) - April 13, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines  — A seven-point agenda to help citizens cope better with this difficult episode of the pandemic is being pushed by a senator closest to President Duterte.

While a shift to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) has been imposed in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus bubble, Sen. Bong Go said people’s movements are still essentially restricted to prevent further transmission of COVID-19.

Aside from mobility restrictions, Go outlined seven key efforts that should be pursued in order to ease the burden of the Filipino people.

First is a concerted effort to expedite the expansion of health facilities and construction of modular hospitals to accommodate severe and critical COVID-19 cases.

Second is to augment medical frontliners in critical areas in the NCR Plus bubble with health care workers from other regions.

Next, vaccination should be accelerated in accordance with the vaccine prioritization list as well as strengthen COVID-19 testing and contact tracing efforts.

Fourth is to maximize available technologies to unburden the health system, particularly through e-health initiatives.

At the same time, Go said that PhilHealth should expedite its processing of services and payments.

Also, the senator called for an efficient distribution of the new Supplemental Amelioration Program or “ayuda” and other forms of government assistance to all identified beneficiaries.

Finally, Go emphasized the need to adopt alternative work arrangements to ensure the safety of the working sector.

In relation to the new community quarantine guidelines accompanying the implementation of MECQ in the NCR Plus bubble, Go said the move does not mean that government will be complacent.

“The goal of the previous ECQ to limit people’s movement to prevent the spread of the disease is still there. There are only a few adjustments in the policies to ensure that the economy works and does not reach the point where people’s livelihoods will eventually die,” he said.

He said that in all government decisions, the President takes into account recommendations of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) and of other experts.

“We balance all that to protect the welfare and life of every Filipino,” said Go, who chairs the committee on health in the Senate.

“No matter what quarantine restrictions we implement, the discipline and cooperation of everyone is more important. We have adhered to established health protocols to make our measures successful in curbing the spread of COVID-19 while restoring the vitality of our economy,” he added.

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