President Rodrigo Duterte
Duterte

Digong thumbs down MGCQ push

Feb 23, 2021, 3:39 AM
Bobby Ricohermoso

Bobby Ricohermoso

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President Rodrigo Duterte won't allow a downgrade of the country's quarantine status until after vaccination program.

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Digong to prioritize people's health first before downgrading quarantine status, says Malacanang

PRESIDENT RODRIGO ‘Digong’ Duterte spent some time contemplating before making his decision, but in the end he decided to prioritize public health and welfare over the economy, stressing that there will be no shift to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) until the vaccines are administered nationwide.

“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte gave his directive to the Cabinet that the Philippines would not be placed under modified general community quarantine unless there is a rollout of vaccines,” presidential spokepserson Harry Roque said.

“The Chief Executive recognizes the importance of reopening the economy and its impact on people's livelihoods. However, the President gives higher premium to public health and safety,” he added.

Roque said Duterte also emphasized his desire for vaccination to start the soonest possible time to ease the community quarantine.

The national government is expected to kick off its vaccination drive this month with the arrival of initial doses of Covid-19 vaccines.

Earlier, Roque said Duterte will decide on the next quarantine classification based on current Covid-19 data analytics.

He said Duterte has thumbed down the proposal to hold pilot in-person classes next month, but is open to the conduct the dry run by August.

“I guess what he is anticipating is since we will begin vaccination this month, we will be way ahead of our vaccination in August to give us the confidence to resume at least limited face-to-face education,” he said.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) have recommended that the government push through with a nationwide MGCQ and with pilot in-person classes next month.

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