By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Senator Win Gatchalian urged the Inter-Agency Task Force for
the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and local
government units (LGUs) to prepare areas to be placed under granular
lockdown and new alert level systems by providing them appropriate
time and not immediately subject to smaller scale enforced quarantine.
“I am in favor of granular lockdown as long as the public is informed
in advance para makapagplano sila. Like for example, kung bababa tayo
to alert level 3, yung capacity ng restaurants at 50% al fresco
obviously kailangan mo ng mas maraming waiter. Papapasukin mo yung mga
waiters mo. Hindi pwedeng surprise announcement ‘yan kasi kawawa yung
mga negosyo and this alert level is really meant for economic
activity,” he pointed out.
The Senate Economic Affairs Vice Chairperson said he’s amenable to the
principle behind these new policies which is to slowly open up the
economy while at the same time manage the current health crisis.
“This is really a balancing act. Kahit mataas ‘yung COVID-19 cases,
nakakapag-trabaho na ‘yung mga kababayan natin. Now, the areas that
should be opened or not are pinpointed. But the public needs to be
informed in advance because how can you plan? It has to be broadcast
ahead of time so that ‘yung mga negosyo, puwede silang magplano,”
Under the IATF guidelines on the pilot implementation of alert levels
system for COVID-19 response in the National Capital Region issued
last September 13, the authority to impose granular lockdown was given
to the city and municipal mayors and such granular lockdowns shall be
for a period of not less than 14 days.
It further said that the declaration of granular lockdowns by local
chief executives shall be provisionally effective immediately and
shall include due notice to the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force
(RIATF) which will immediately act on the said declaration.
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary
Epimaco Densing said the LGUs are given a leeway whether to impose a
sudden lockdown or provide a 12-hour notice to the affected