Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo Founder Joey Concepcion says that, based on informal survey, more than 90% of entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives of large and medium conglomerates support the extension of a Luzon lockdown for another two weeks.
The majority of these businesses reported wanting to avoid a possible relapse and ensure a definitive flattening of the curve. The extension of the Luzon lockdown was deemed the most important recommendation in a consultative meeting between the private sector and NEDA last April 5, 2020, which was attended by NEDA Sec. Ernesto Pernia, DTI Sec. Ramon Lopez, as well as heads of conglomerates and business chambers.
“We have been on Enhanced Community Quarantine for almost three weeks,” said Concepcion. “Despite the negative economic impact, it seems that we are left with no choice but to ensure that this current lockdown is worthwhile and successful. Thus, we strongly support the government in its plans of extending the Luzon lockdown for another two weeks to avoid relapse, which may result in more damages.”
Shifting to barangay quarantines
Another recommendation put forth was a change in strategy and the implementation of an immediate shift to Barangay Quarantines after the extension of the Luzon lockdown. Concepcion recommends that mayors and barangay captains be empowered to implement a lockdown in their affected areas, while following simple and easy-to-follow guidelines set up by the National Task Force (NTF). The NTF will provide the criteria of when a targeted area should be put under lockdown and for how long.
Depending on the number and location of the confirmed cases per area, the Barangay Quarantine can be expanded to a City/Municipality Quarantine, and even a Provincial Quarantine if necessary.
“President Duterte was correct to place Luzon under lockdown immediately, because that was an emergency situation. After implementing three “resets” (three cycles of a 14-day quarantine at home), we now should consider implementing quarantines at the barangay level, moving up to City/ Municipality Quarantines and Provincial Quarantines, if many of the municipalities still experience rising numbers of cases,” Concepcion said.
With the two recommendations in place, the military and police can focus on the infected areas, while both the public and private sectors can proceed with the random testing of barangay residents to measure each community’s level of risk. The data gathered will help in the development of better mitigation plans.