Press Release
June 16, 2020

Bong Go reiterates: "battle versus COVID-19 not yet over";
urges public to remain vigilant

Senator Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go echoed President Rodrigo Duterte's latest pronouncements regarding the ongoing government drive to contain the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in the country. Go was with the President during the latter's meeting with some members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease in Malacañan Palace complex last Monday night, June 15.

"Hindi pa tapos ang laban. Andyan pa rin ang banta ng pandemyang ito. Kaya hinihikayat ko ang ating mga kababayan na huwag maging kampante. Sumunod tayo sa mga health protocols, lalo na ang social distancing at pagsuot ng face masks," Go, also chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, said.

"Magtulungan at magbayanihan tayong lahat. While government maximizes its limited resources, a lot of our fellow Filipinos have also lost jobs, livelihood and savings. We are fighting for survival -- as survival is the name of the game here," the Senator added.

Duterte approved the recommendation of the IATF regarding the respective quarantine levels of various areas in the country noting continued significant numbers of COVID-19 infection cases in major areas, particularly Metro Manila and Cebu City.

"Hindi ko kayo mapigilan na lumabas, hindi ko kayo mahuli lahat, ang problema diyan if you allow your children to go out and the place is not ready for them to go outside. 'Wag mo kaming sisihin, do not forget that we warned you about the grave consequences," Duterte sternly warned.

The President reverted Cebu City to enhanced community quarantine status starting June 16 until the end of the month because of the new cases and widespread infection in majority of its barangays. There is also a marked increase in the utilization of critical care facilities in the city.

Meanwhile, Metro Manila remains under the general community quarantine until June 30, together with Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Santiago City in Region II; Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Tarlac, Olongapo City in Region III; and Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon, and Occidental Mindoro in Region IV-A for Luzon.

Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental, Siquijor, Mandaue City, Lapu-Lapu City in Region VII; and Davao City and Zamboanga City in Mindanao are also placed under GCQ status until the end of the month. The rest of the Philippines remains under modified GCQ for the same period.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III explained why Cebu City was reverted to more stringent quarantine status, saying "Due to the increasing number of new cases and widespread community transmission in the majority of barangays in the city, as well as the consistent case doubling time of less than seven days, and the significant increase in critical care utilization against critical care capacity, Cebu City shall be placed under enhanced community quarantine."

In this regard, Senator Go urged the public to cooperate with authorities in order to ensure that the disease will not spread further.

"Patuloy pa rin dapat nating sundin ang lahat ng mga health protocols na pinapatupad ng mga otoridad natin. Mula sa simpleng bagay ng pagsuot ng face masks, paghugas ng mga kamay, pag-iwas sa mga non-essential travels muna---lahat ng ito maliliit na bagay pero malaki ang ambag upang malampasan natin ang krisis na ito," Go further explained.

"Kung ano po ang gagawin natin sa susunod na mga araw, kung paano po tayo magtutulungan na maiwasan ang pagkalat ng sakit, kung paano po natin mas maisasaayos ang ating health facilities -- ito po ang tanging makakapagsabi kung kailan tayo makakabalik muli sa normal na pamumuhay at tuluyang matapos ang krisis na dulot ng COVID-19," the Senator added.

Go also explained that the President is carefully balancing everything, highlighting the need for the state to ensure and protect the health and safety of its people, the need to gradually open up the economy while ensuring that government's health facilities are still capable of delivering the needed services.

"Halos walang tulog na ang Pangulo sa kakaisip kung paano malampasan natin sa lalong madaling panahon ang krisis na ito. Lahat na apektado -- kabuhayan, ekonomiya, pag-aaral, atbp. Maingat na binabalanse ng gobyerno ang mga ito," Go said.

"Let us work together to stop the spread of this disease, and at the same time, help our countrymen recover from this crisis. As the President said, we want to give Filipinos hope of a better life after the COVID-19 crisis," he reiterated.

Earlier, Go also urged the Executive Department to ensure that the objectives and commitments under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (Bayanihan 1) will be fulfilled.

"Halos tatlong buwan na ang nakalipas mula ng ipinasa ang Bayanihan to Heal as One Act. Pinaghirapan nating maipasa iyon," Go, who also sits as a member of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the implementation of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, aired.

"Nagtiwala kaming mga mambabatas na magagawa ng mga ahensya ang lahat ng kanilang makakaya within that limited period that the law is in effect. Ngayon na pinag-uusapan na ng lehislatibo ang panukalang Bayanihan to Recover as One Act o ang Bayanihan 2 Act, sana po ay ma-ideliver na natin lahat ng kailangan pa nating gawin sa ilalim ng naunang batas," he added.

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