Press Release
April 3, 2020

Drilon supports two-week extension of enhanced
community quarantine in Luzon

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon warned against prematurely lifting the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

"We have sacrificed so much to prevent a further spread of the COVID-19 and a total collapse of our health system. It will be a total waste if we lift prematurely the enhanced community quarantine," Drilon said in a statement on Friday.

Drilon said a two-week extension is necessary in order to get a clearer and more accurate assessment of the situation.

"We are only beginning to see the data. I see some data that shows it is effective, but it is too early to tell. An extra two weeks would help," he added.

"During the two-week extension, the government must be able to move fast and decisively in order to prevent the scarcity of food, feed around 18 million poorest of the poor, assist those who lost livelihood, and take care of the depleting health workforce."

"When more than 100 million lives are at stake, any amount of delay in government response is a mortal sin and unforgivable," Drilon stressed.

"Kawawa naman po ang 18 milyong pinakamahihirap na Filipino. They are the most affected by this lockdown," he added.

Drilon is a member of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee that will review and evaluate the implementation of the Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act.

The World Health Organization (WHO) last April 1 also advised caution against lifting the ECQ too soon.

Drilon said the government must ensure food supply and movement of essential goods and services.

The minority chief said that come May, the government may consider easing the ECQ.

"From May 1 to May 31, we must continue to restrict travel to and from Luzon and ban mass gathering," he proposed.

He said malls and churches should remain closed, but critical manufacturing should gradually open (food and non food and supply chain), as well as critical construction (power plants, infrastructure).

"What is essential is we open more jobs and livelihood, as well as access to food and supplies. This way, more people have income," he explained.

To facilitate, Drilon proposed opening some modes public transportation, but not jeepneys, but only those where social distancing can still be practiced (LRT, MRT, buses).

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