Press Release
March 20, 2021

With the sudden spike in Covid cases
Nancy to govt execs: Stop encouraging unnecessary travel
...says 2-week voluntary ECQ may somehow ease uptick trend

"'Time-out' na muna!"

Senator Nancy Binay urged government executives to stop encouraging unnecessary travel especially after the country hit a record-high 7,103 new cases of COVID-19 infections on Friday.

"Itigil muna natin ang pagpropose na bumyahe at mamasyal. This is not the best time to relax and encourage everyone to go out and travel habang patuloy namang tumataas ang kaso ng COVID sa ating bansa," Binay said.

Despite the spike in infected cases, the government in February decided to ease travel protocol across provinces and cities. The new rules include the removal of mandatory COVID-19 testing and quarantine for local travelers except if they exhibit virus symptoms.

"Everyone should be onboard and on the same plate in the fight against Covid. There should be consistency in messaging mula sa ating mga leaders at maging sa mga influencers--'di dapat tumitigil sa pagpapaalala at pagpapaliwanag sa mga repercussion ng di pagsunod sa minimum health protocols. We have to embrace the new normal and accept the fact that our way of life has already changed," the senator said.

Binay said that the IATF, national leaders, the private sector, and even social media influencers, should make every effort to logically explain the repercussions of the simple act of wearing a mask and habitually washing hands.

"Makikita naman natin sa mga videos at pictures sa news at social media na kahit mga celebrities at influencers eh parang balik na sa normal ang lahat. Varying, irrelevant, and inconsistent messaging create public confusion, and damage whatever gains we have had in the fight against COVID," she said.

Binay added the government should also improve its messaging to the public after deciding to reopen the economy, adding that special emphasis must be placed on strictly following the minimum health and safety protocols even as certain restrictions are eased or lifted.

"How can we slow down or manage community transmission when we are now inside a worrisome and critical threshold, pero our officials still promote unnecessary and non-essential travel. Mas nakaka-bother lalo na ngayon na paparating na ang Holy Week at marami sa mga kababayan natin ang nag-iisip na magbakasyon at pumunta sa ibang lugar," she pointed out.

"Siguro what we can do individually is to act as if we're on GCQ on a voluntary basis. At sa public and private sectors, mas makakabuti na i-consider na mag-timeout muna tayo ng two weeks until after the Holy Week para na rin mabigyan natin ng panahon ang IATF na mag-reassess, adjust, maghanda at punan ang mga gap para ma-reverse ang tumataas na namang bilang ng mga positibo sa COVID," Binay noted.

The senator earlier called out national leaders who are sending wrong signals to the public every time they are seen on television trivializing the continued increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, and conferring assurance that things are slowly becoming normal because the vaccines are already available.

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