IN AS much as we would like the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) be shortened, we are open for its extension nationwide for a certain period depending on the progress of our anti-Covid campaign. On the other hand, whateveroption the govt will take we demand that the following be considered seriously:
1. Support and protect in all means and ways possible all our frontliners, nurses, doctors, health workers and cops in hospitals, Covid centers, and checkpoints. With them rest our decisive key in fight vs Covid.
2. Ensure food and basic support to ALL households, including some cash support but through the local development council (LDC) of every LGU with strong CSO participation. This is a pandemic and assistance should be universal not selective.
3Execute immediately the mass testing to identify extent and concentration of virus spread, by deploying medical teams in critical areas first and others second, to do the action.
4. Ease checkpoints, allow general movements of citizens but still ban opening of malls, schools, parks and others which converge people, including incoming citizens via plane or boats from areas where Covid cases are still rampant.
DILG should review passes issued by barangays to ensure that such have no time restrictions, movement not confined to one person but to any member of family, provided they observe curfew regulation. We are not under martial law, our freedom of movement is not and should not be curtailed.
5.Allow faster and easier movement ofgoods and food, and operations of vital businesses and services, provided they follow strict compliance of social distancing and other relevant measures.
6. Allow some public transportation, either government subsidized or private initiative, to ensure movement of citizens to secure their needs, but enforcing some necessary regulations.
7. Institute measures that will stop the profiteering activities by some business groups, domestic and international, with corresponding penalties provided under existing penal code.
8. Enforce the indefinite suspension of all the rental, loan and other obligations of the citizens, small and distressed businesses to government and private entities, domestic and international, without penalties or surcharges to ease the burden of the those most affected by the Covid crisis.
9. DILG in every LGU should be open and active 24/7 in monitoring the LGU operations, respond quickly to all complaints vs LGUs and other groups and individuals.
10. Enlist, activate and support CSOs participation in the overall campaign vs Covid focusing on community education, protection and support.
Let’s keep safe. We shall defeat Covid 19.
God bless us.
Kasama sa Pagbabago Inc. (Negros Chapter)
(Kasama sa Pagbabago Inc. is a national development NGO working for sustainable and resilient communities and the empowerment of the citizenry in governance)