President Rodrigo Duterte will not place the country under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) unless there is a rollout of vaccines.
Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said the President gave his directive to the Cabinet even if he recognizes the importance of re-opening the economy and its impact on people’s livelihoods.
“However, the President gives higher premium to public health and safety,” he said.
Roque said Duterte also wants vaccination to start the soonest possible time in order to ease the community quarantine.
Earlier, the Metro Manila mayors and the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases, agreed to recommend placing the entire country under MGCQ next month to open up the economy.
They made the move after the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Chua made a recommendation to put the country under a less restrictive to boost the economy.
Chua said the government’s quarantine restriction since March 2020 has resulted to a total income loss of P1.04 trillion last year, with an average daily loss of P2.8 billion.
He said on the average, the annual income loss for every worker is P23,000 per worker since the government restricted some sectors from operating.
Chua added that with the restrictions, many workers lost their jobs which gave impact to their income.
He said based on the November Pulse Asia survey, 73 percent of the respondents averred that the government has to balance the opening of the economy and the control of the virus.