Press Release
April 28, 2020

Dispatch from Crame No. 781:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima's Quick Reaction to President Duterte's 27 April 2020 Address


The General Community Quarantine (GCQ) will be our new normal until a vaccine has been made available to the world.

Mr. Duterte's weekly address yesterday (Apr. 27) was rather benign, and more perfunctory than anything else. Like most of us, he appears to be just waiting for the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) to end. The next phase of our anti-COVID-19 measures now rests heavily in the development of fair, rational and sensible rules governing the GCQ.

The idea is that we would allow certain sectors to operate to keep our economy afloat while continuing to support the rest of the country who will remain in quarantine. It is easier said than done. Already we are in recession and we expect just less than half a million OFWs to be repatriated within a year due to global economic downturn.

One of the key areas of concern will be public transportation. Karamihan sa ating mga manggagawa ay walang sariling sasakyan. Madaling sabihin na mag-operate ang mga PUV natin sa mababang kapasidad. Sa ilalim ng GCQ, hindi na puwede ang mga siksikan na PUV. Kaso, magiging inefficient ang byahe at hihina ang kita ng mga drivers at operators.

Maybe this would be a great opportunity to reform our public transport industry, while safeguarding the welfare of our workers and small owners. With our transport sector in the sidelines, we have an opportunity to introduce a safer and more efficient public transportation system. I urge this administration, particularly the Department of Transportation, to take advantage of the extended ECQ to prepare our country for the new normal. The success of the GCQ public transport system will play a critical role towards our recovery. ###

(Access the handwritten version of Dispatch from Crame No. 781, here:

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