President Duterte sought the middle ground with medical frontliners as he approved on Sunday night the recommendation to place Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal back under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from August 4 to 18.
Duterte made the announcement after the medical community appealed to revert Mega Manila — which includes the National Capital Region (NCR), Central Luzon, and Calabarzon — to ECQ as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country continues to rise.ADVERTISING
In his late-night public address aired Sunday, Duterte approved the recommendation of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to place the said areas under MECQ.
He explained that he can’t put the entire country under stricter quarantine measures because the government is already “scraping” the barrel.
“Ngayon magsabi kayo i-lockdown mo na ang Maynila at ang ibang lugar sa Pilipinas para wala na mahawa. The problem is wala na tayong pera. (You keep on telling me to place Manila and other places in the Philippines under lockdown so there will be no more transmission. The problem is we have no more money). I cannot give any more food and money to the people,” he said.
Duterte, meanwhile, said he understands the plight of the nurses and doctors who on Saturday asked for “timeout” and sought placing Mega Manila back to ECQ.
“The cry of the moment, which is really, I believe, well-taken, and they are right,” he said.
“We agree that you are bone-weary,” he added.
The President said he understands if the healthcare workers would eventually resign but discouraged them from doing so because the country needs them.
“If they do not want to work, we cannot force them. But por Diyos naman. Kung ganito na sitwasyon (for the love of God, now that we are in this situation)… Who are our soldiers? the nurses and the doctors,” he said.
“If you cannot go for the extra mile, I am sorry, I can understand you. Pero wala kami matawagan na iba, eh (But we have no one else to turn to),” he added.
He also acknowledged that health care workers should be paid more as they are the “most important people” in the country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
source: https://mb.com.ph / https://news.abs-cbn.com