’It’s a Mask’ digital drive promotes safety protocols

TWO House leaders have launched a digital campaign titled “It’s A Mask!” aimed at promoting public health and safety protocols as the country jumpstarts economic activity after undergoing stringent quarantine restrictions.

AAMBIS-OWA party-list Rep. Sharon Garin, the chairperson of the House committee on economic affairs, said the program was in partnership with Laguna Rep. Sol Aragones, the chairperson of the House committee on tourism.

Cognizant of the plight of overwhelmed health workers and the declining economic state of the country, Garin conceptualized the campaign with Aragones to strike a balance between acknowledging the needs of the health sector and reviving the economy.

“We understand the predicament of our healthcare workers. That’s why we are launching this campaign. We hope to minimize the number of cases by highlighting the importance of minimum health standards. 

On the other hand, we also want to boost the public’s confidence as quarantine restrictions are slowly being lifted. It’s not just about health anymore. Our economy is plummeting. We need to meet halfway and we cannot sacrifice one for the other,” Garin explained. Garin further emphasized that the campaign echoes the call of Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano to save lives and livelihood.

As co-chair of the Economic Stimulus Response Package Cluster (ESRP) under the Defeat COVID-19 Ad Hoc Committee (DCC) co-chaired by Cayetano and House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, she has previously underscored the importance of boosting business confidence and maintaining the stability of the country’s labor force beyond the lifting of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon.

“We lose around 18 billion for each day of lockdown. Imagine the number of families that can benefit from that amount. A total lockdown might do more harm than good, that’s why we plead everyone to observe minimum public health standards as the economy reopens. In this new normal, a mask is a must,” Garin opined.

The campaign is in line with the guidelines set by the Department of Health (DOH) and the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) with the end-goal of reducing transmission rates, contact rates, and the duration of infectiousness of individuals in the population.

Garin maintained that the country’s economic recovery is dependent on the active participation of the government, private sector, and Filipino people.