Senator Christopher “Bong” Go (File photo)
MANILA – Saying coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) will remain a threat without vaccine, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go said the government still has to thoroughly assess the situation in select areas under modified enhanced community quarantine and general community quarantine before easing the restriction measures.
“Ako, ‘wag natin madaliin. Unahin muna natin ang pagprotekta sa buhay ng bawat Pilipino (For me, we should not rush. Let’s protect first every Filipino),” Go told the media after the launch of the country’s 85th Malasakit Center at the National Center for Mental Health in Mandaluyong City on October 3.
Go also appealed for patience and understanding from the public as the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) is still keenly studying the situation on the ground whether to shift to more lenient quarantine measures in key areas.
“Sumunod tayo sa IATF, sa ating Task Force, pinag-aaralan nila bawat araw, bawat linggo, bawat buwan ay pinag-aaralan po nila ang mga quarantine restrictions. Kung ano puwedeng luwangan at puwedeng higpitan at kung ano ang pinagbabawal at ano po ang puwede na. Sumunod muna tayo (Let’s follow our Task Force, they are studying every day, every week, every month these quarantine restrictions, what to ease, to restrict, to ban, and to allow. Let’s follow first),” Go said.
He reiterated that health and safety of Filipinos must come first while pursuing efforts to jumpstart the economy.
“Ito po ang tandaan natin, between economy and health, para sa akin, mas importante po ang buhay ng bawat Pilipino (Let’s remember, between economy and health, for me, life of every Filipino is the most important),” Go said.
Go assured that the government will prioritize front-liners as well as the poor and vulnerable sectors once a safe and effective vaccine for Covid-19 becomes available.
“Huwag kayong mag-alala kapag mayroon na pong vaccine gaya nang ipinangako ni Pangulong Duterte, kapag safe na po ang vaccine at pumasa na po ito sa FDA at DOH, uunahin namin ni Pangulong Duterte ‘yung mga mahihirap, mga front-liners, at mga vulnerable po (Don’t worry, once vaccine becomes available and approved by the Food and Drugs Administration and Department of Health, as promised by President Duterte, the poor, front-liners, and vulnerable will be prioritized),” Go said.
He said the government will also prioritize workers who really need to work for their families.
The chairman of the Senate committee on health urged the DOH to formulate plan for the systematic provision of the Covid-19 vaccine in anticipation of the possibility that supply will most likely be limited.
“Huwag sana pabayaan ang mga mahihirap. Paghandaan na natin ngayon palang. Magkaroon po tayo ng plano kung saan dapat pantay-pantay at hindi lang ang mga may kaya sa buhay ang makakakuha (Let’s not forget the poor. Let’s prepare now a plan where everyone can avail [vaccine] and not only those who can afford it),” he said.
Go also wished to ensure that there are sufficient resources to enable the Department of Science and Technology to continue its research on vaccine production.
With the upcoming holiday season, Go said the government is working double time to ensure the safety of everyone, urging the public to religiously observe the health protocols set by the DOH.
“Pakiusap lang, sumunod lang tayo sa mga patakaran, tulad ng pagsuot ng mask at face shield, social distancing, observing proper hygiene at kung ‘di kailangang lumabas ng bahay, ‘wag muna kayong umalis dahil delikado pa po ang panahon (My appeal is to follow the health protocols like wearing of face masks and face shields, social distancing, observe proper hygiene and stay home, do not go out if it is not necessary because it is risky,” he said. (PR)