Editorial February 21, 2021

Tighter control a must with MGCQ

WHILE the move to declare Moderate General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) in Metro Manila and other key urban areas in the county is deemed necessary to address the rising cases of hunger, unemployment and slow reboot of the national and local economies, it behooves the local governments in Pangasinan to take stricter preemptive measures to protect their constituents.

Health experts fear a sudden upsurge in active COVID-19 cases if a lower community quarantine level is declared without regard to the many local governments’ weak contact-tracing capabilities in their areas.

The experts know that a declaration of MGCQ will prompt the populace to relax its guard and compliance with the health and safety protocols, a dangerous situation when no vaccination has been rolled out in any part of the country.

If the MGCQ is inevitable in Luzon, the provincial government must take one preemptive measure by directing the police in all provincial and town/city border checkpoints to stop and check if all occupants of incoming vehicles are wearing face masks and face shields. Face masks and face shields must be made available at checkpoints for those without, but with costs. Presently, all checkpoints are already practically unmanned with no mission.

The policy will remind arriving visitors that the protocols are strictly enforced in the province.

Meanwhile, the Espino government would do well to issue a stern warning to local officials that have been very laxed in the enforcement of the protocols with immediate suspension if an upsurge in cases in their communities will be reported.

To be forewarned is to be forearmed.

 

‘Follow the leader’

THREE of 10 Filipinos in the National Capital Region and nearly 50 percent surveyed nationwide refuse to be vaccinated for protection against COVID-19.   This reflects the public’s hesitant attitude towards the vaccine.  Freedom of choice as guaranteed by the Constitution can be cited.  The government cannot impose itself unto the people, rendering the vaccination process not mandatory but voluntary.  Analyzing the hesitancy issue deeply, the vaccination scheme seemed doomed with partial inoculation of the populace as this would allow the virus to continue bedeviling us.  Meaning, those vaccinated can still get infected by their non-vaccinated neighbors. Our leaders, from barangay captain to the President, should, perhaps, get vaccinated first to inspire the people.  As sure as sugar attracts ants, it will resurrect the “follow the leader” template.  Get real.

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