By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Amid the uptick in new cases of COVID-19 in the country, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go urged the Filipino public to continue supporting the whole-of-nation efforts against the pandemic by cooperating with authorities, complying with health protocols and keeping their guards up against COVID-19.
“Tulungan n’yo na lang po ang ating gobyerno. Ginagawa po ng gobyerno ang lahat. ‘Di po makakatulong ang paninisi, wala pong maidudulot na kabutihan ‘yan,” Go said during his visit and distribution of aid to 1,000 TODA members and 650 families affected by Typhoon Yolanda in Tacloban City on Thursday, March 18.
Go stressed that bayanihan and unity are needed in order for the country to overcome the challenges brought by the public health concern.
“Kailangan natin ito malagpasan na nagkakaisa tayo bilang Pilipino. Sino pa ba ang magtutulungan kundi tayo lang po,” he added.
The Senator assured that the government is doing its best to counter the adverse impacts of the pandemic by balancing economic recovery and health concerns. He added that he is helping by also providing aid to Filipinos whose livelihoods were disrupted by economic restrictions.
“Binabalanse po ng gobyerno ang lahat. Ayaw naman natin marami ang mawalan ng trabaho,” stressed Go.
“Tulad po dito, mga market vendor natin, fisherfolks, hirap po talaga sila sa kanilang kabuhayan. Kaya po tayo narito ngayon para makapagbigay ng kaunting tulong sa kanila. Subalit kailangan natin magtulungan. Disiplina po ang kailangan,” he added.
To contain the new spike in new COVID-19 infections, the government on Tuesday agreed to close the country’s borders to foreign travelers anew and limit the number of Filipinos entering the Philippines beginning this Saturday, March 20. The number of overseas Filipino workers entering the country will be limited to 1,500 a day.
Aside from the measure, the government is also implementing granular lockdowns, curfews, and a stay-at-home-order for individuals below 18 and above 65 years old.
As for hospitals requiring individuals to obtain a swab test before a doctor’s check-up or admitting them, Go said that he will study such policy and consult with health authorities and experts amid complaints that such protocol could result in sick individuals not getting immediate treatment due to the time it takes to get the results.
“Ako naman, bilang Committee Chair (ng Senate Committee on Health), pag-aralan natin ito. Kakausapin ko po si Secretary Duque… mas alam ng doktor ang ginagawa nila kaya magtiwala tayo sa mga eksperto at tulungan natin sila sa pamamagitan ng pagsunod sa mga patakaran,” he explained.
While there are no orders yet from the government for more restrictive community quarantine guidelines, Go said that this may be considered if the number of new cases in the country continue to rise.
“Sa ngayon po, wala naman po. Pero kung tataas po ang kaso, hindi po nalalayo. Kaya nga sabi ko sa inyo, kung ayaw n’yo makulong, disiplina muna at sumunod sa gobyerno,” Go reminded Filipinos, adding that the country cannot afford to go on a nationwide lockdown again.
“‘Wag natin sayangin ang inumpisahan natin noon. Naranasan na natin — nag-ECQ na tayo, nakailang pagsasara na tayo ng negosyo, nakailang pagtigil na tayo ng trabaho. Hindi na tayo pwedeng bumalik dun dahil hirap po ang ating mga kababayan,” he added. (AI/MTVN)