Speaker: Let IATF decide on ECQ’s fate

SPEAKER Alan Peter Cayetano called on all Filipinos to let  the Covid-19 inter-agency task force (IATF) decide on the lifting or extension of the enhanced community quarantine.

In a statement, Cayetano said the members of the IATF are doing the monitoring and study and therefore they should be trusted on the matter.

The entire Luzon was placed under ECQ due to the rising number of Filipinos infected with coronavirus disease from March 14 to April 14.

There are proposals to extend the lockdown until the end of April.

 Cayetano said the ongoing quarantine, curfew, social distancing, provision of personal protective equipment to frontline healthcare workers, movement restrictions, and other related measures are all intended to save lives amid the spread of Covid-19.

“And Secretary (Carlito) Galvez has started talking about the curve, which means that there are statistical models showing that at a certain point of time, Covid-19 cases will peak, then plateau or flatten, and then will start to go down. When they are decreasing, usually, the quarantine would be lifted,” he said.

Galvez is the chief implementer of the national action plan against the coronavirus disease.

Cayetano said the United States, Europe and all other countries battling the coronavirus disease are all watching for the point where the curve starts to fall.

He said the government cannot remove measures to contain Covid-19 if the number of infected people continues to increase.

Cayetano stressed there is consensus in the government and the private sector as well that saving lives takes precedence over economic considerations.

“Yes, as soon we can open more areas or sectors of our economy, we should do that. But I think let’s give Secretary (Eduardo) Año (of interior and local government) and Secretary Galvez the time to explain the numbers, the strategy…Let’s trust the IATF,” he stressed.

He added that the administration’s economic managers are linking up with businessmen on their assessment of the Covid-19 situation.

“Mall owners, for example, lose money every day that they are closed due to the enhanced community quarantine. But they care for their customers. They don’t want anyone to die or get severely sick just because they want to open up. I think we are all in the same level of balancing,” the Speaker said.