Gov’t to rely on ‘analytics, data’ on easing restrictions

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MANILA – While the majority of Metro Manila mayors backed the proposal to place the entire country under the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) in March, Malacañang on Thursday said the decision on easing the quarantine status still depends on “analytics and data.”

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the two-week growth rate and the daily attack would still be considered in determining the community quarantine classifications next month.

“Sa akin po, importante pa rin po ang analytics at ang datos (For me, it’s still important to look at the analytics and data),” Roque said in a virtual presser.

He issued the statement after nine Metro Manila mayors voted for the implementation of the most relaxed MGCQ status in March, while eight others voted for the retention of the general community quarantine (GCQ) classification.

The support from the majority of Metro Manila mayors came after it was disclosed that President Rodrigo Duterte is studying the proposed shift to MGCQ nationwide to “balance health and economy.”

Roque said the Palace was grateful that most of the mayors in Metro Manila favored the plan to declare MGCQ status across the country despite the threat posed by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

“Tama po, dapat pa rin tayong mag-ingat sa Covid-19. Pero ang sinasabi nga po natin, dapat mabuksan na ang ekonomiya, pag-ingatan ang mga buhay para sa hanapbuhay pero hindi po tayo magpapabaya (That’s right. We still have to guard against Covid-19 but we have to reopen the economy and save businesses without being complacent),” he said.

Roque said the decision on the new quarantine status in March might be discussed in the Cabinet meeting to be held on Monday.

“At titingnan po natin kung ano magiging desisyon ng ating Presidente pagdating ng Lunes dahil itong rekomendasyon pong ito ay isa rin sa mga bagay na idi-discuss po doon sa Cabinet meeting (Let’s see what the President’s decision will be this coming Monday because the recommendation will be tackled during the Cabinet meeting),” he said.

50%, not 100%

Meanwhile, Roque also responded to the claim of retired Supreme Court justice Antonio Carpio that the government requires private companies to donate to it “100 percent” of the vaccines they purchased.

“Kinakailangan lang pong ituwid ito dahil baka naman ibig sabihin eh masyado naman nating ginagamit ang ating mga pribadong kumpanya – na hindi naman po totoo (We have to set the record straight because some might assume that we’re using the private sector, which is not true),” he said.

Roque debunked Carpio’s allegation, saying only 50 percent would be donated to the government, while the remaining 50 percent of Covid-19 vaccines would be administered to employees of the private firms.

“Ang sabi po niya ay 100 percent daw po ng mga bakunang inangkat ng mga pribadong kumpanya ay ido-donate sagobyerno. Hindi po totoo ito. Ang mga pribadong sektor na pumasok po sa tripartite agreement, 50 percent po ang ido-donate nila sa gobyerno, 50 percent ay gagamitin nila sa kanilang mga empleyado (He said 100 percent of vaccines purchased by the private companies would be donated to the government. That’s not true. The private companies that entered into the tripartite agreement will only donate 50 percent to the government, while the remaining 50 percent will be administered to their employees),” he said. (PNA)

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