By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Senator Risa Hontiveros on Monday said that placing the people back into another round of lockdown revealed the kind of management of IATF-NTF, adding that the public is forced to accept a re-imposed Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) “because of gross negligence and incompetence.”
“While the reimposition of ECQ is a necessary step to contain the resurgence of COVID-19 infections, nakakagalit na alam nating hindi mangyayari ito kung hindi dahil sa palpak na sistema na bigo pa ring maituwid hanggang ngayon,” she said.
“Hindi lahat ay kakayanin ang ECQ. May mga negosyo na susubukan pa sanang magbukas, pero tuluyan nang magsasarado dahil dito. Sa pagbagsak ng ekonomiya, pati pantawid na diskarte ng ating kababayan na-lay off at nagbasag na ng alkansya, mawawala rin dahil sa panibagong lockdown,” Hontiveros added.
Hontiveros also stated that as long as the same people are in charge of the pandemic response and there is failure to address the problem head-on, enforcement of mobility restrictions will still be inadequate and it will be the ordinary Filipinos who will continue to suffer.
“Hangga’t parehong mga tao ang namamahala sa pandemic response, parehong resulta lang din ang makukuha natin. We need better leadership. We need health experts who will carry out scientific, evidence-based solutions. We need competent and empathetic medical professionals to get us through this crisis,” Hontiveros said.
“We cannot expect better if they can only praise their own past actions and blame the viral mutations — October pa lang, alam na nating may variants sa ibang bansa at pagdating ng January 1 ay naging dominant na nga ang mga ito,” she said.
“Season 2 na raw ng ECQ, sana tapusin na dito at huwag nang gawing Endless Community Quarantine. Let’s break this vicious cycle once and for all,” she furthered.
Hontiveros then reiterated her call to implement a new round of cash aid for those unable to work; enhance the support to key sectors, including public employment programs for job creation; and ensure balik-trabahong ligtas for the employed workers, especially those who are in the healthcare sector and in the essential production and delivery of basic goods and services.
“Cash aid should not come in tranches, dapat tuluy-tuloy ito. Hindi ibig sabihin na hindi na ECQ ay hindi na rin naghihirap ang marami sa atin. Noong nakaraang taon, may nasa 1.5 milyong Pilipino ang kinonsiderang ‘new poor’. Kailangan ng pantawid hanggang sila ay makaahon,” said Hontiveros.
The continuous cash aid would be made possible through the completion of Listahanan 3 as it would include millions of ‘new poor’ in the roster of beneficiaries qualified for the government’s social protection programs such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
“Huwag sanang masayang ang panibagong sakripisyong ito mula sa ating mga kababayan. Hindi dapat “matira matibay” dahil may gobyerno tayo na binigyan ng kapangyarihan upang lutasin ang ganitong uri ng krisis. Nakakasawa ang paninisi sa publiko. It always takes two to tango kaya dapat tanggapin na may higit na pagkukulang kayo,” she concluded. (AI/MTVN)