Senator Christopher “Bong” Go urged the government to thoroughly assess the situation in select areas still under modified enhanced or general community quarantine before imposing more relaxed measures as COVID-19 remains a threat while there is still no vaccine available in the country.
“Ako, ‘wag natin madaliin. Unahin muna natin ang pagprotekta sa buhay ng bawat Pilipino,” Go said during an interview on Friday, October 2 after the launching of the country’s 85th Malasakit Center at the National Center for Mental Health in Mandaluyong City.
The Senator appealed to the public for patience and understanding as the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease is still keenly studying the situation on the ground as far as shifting to more lenient community quarantine measures in key areas.
“Sumunod tayo sa IATF, sa ating Task Force, pinag-aaralan nila bawat araw, bawat linggo, bawat buwan ay pinag-aaralan po nila ang mga quarantine restrictions,” Go said.
“Kung ano puwedeng luwangan at puwedeng higpitan at kung ano ang pinagbabawal at ano po ang puwede na. Sumunod muna tayo,” he added.
The Senator also repeated his earlier reminders that the health and safety of Filipinos must come first while pursuing efforts to jumpstart the economy.
“Ito po ang tandaan natin, between economy and health, para sa akin, mas importante po ang buhay ng bawat Pilipino,” Go remarked, appealing to the public to cooperate and remain vigilant amid the threats of COVID-19.
“Ang pera po ay ating kikitain pero ang perang kikitain natin ay hindi po puwedeng bumili ng buhay dahil isang beses lang tayo mabubuhay dito sa mundong ito. Kaya ingat tayo, pangalagaan natin ang kalusugan ng bawat Pilipino, unahin po natin ang health, buhay ang unahin natin,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Go assured Filipinos that the government will prioritize frontliners as well as the poor and vulnerable sectors once a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19 become available in the market.
Go said that the government wants to prioritize the frontliners given their crucial role in this crisis and for their selflessness and courage in fighting COVID-19. He added that the government will always prioritize the poor and vulnerable sectors when it comes to public service delivery.
“Huwag kayong mag-alala kapag mayroon na pong vaccine gaya nang ipinangako ni Pangulong Duterte, kapag safe na po ang vaccine at pumasa na po ito sa FDA at DOH, uunahin namin ni Pangulong Duterte ‘yung mga mahihirap, mga frontliners, at mga vulnerable po,” Go said.
“’Yung mga kailangang lumabas at magtrabaho at kailangan nila maghanap buhay, sila po ‘yung uunahin natin para makabalik na po sa normal ang kanilang pamumuhay,” he added.
Earlier, the Senator stressed that when a vaccine for COVID-19 becomes available, it must be made accessible to the general public, especially those who need government support the most.
“Kapag dumating ang panahon na mayroon nang vaccine at gamot laban sa COVID-19, dapat handa tayo na mabigyan ang lahat ng Pilipinong nangangailangan nito,” he said.
Go, the chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, urged the Department of Health to formulate such plan for the systematic provision of the COVID-19 vaccine in anticipation of the possibility that supply will most likely be limited.
“Huwag sana pabayaan ang mga mahihirap. Paghandaan na natin ngayon palang. Magkaroon po tayo ng plano kung saan dapat pantay-pantay at hindi lang ang mga may kaya sa buhay ang makakakuha,” he said.
The Philippines is presently participating in clinical trials being conducted by international vaccine developers. Go also wished to ensure that there are sufficient resources to enable the Department of Science and Technology to continue its research on vaccine production.
With the upcoming holiday season, Go emphasized that the government is working double time to ensure the safety of everyone. That said, he continues to urge the public to religiously observe the health protocols set by the DOH.
“Pakiusap lang, sumunod lang tayo sa mga patakaran, tulad ng pagsuot ng mask at face shield, social distancing, observing proper hygiene at kung ‘di kailangang lumabas ng bahay, ‘wag muna kayong umalis dahil delikado pa po ang panahon,” advised Go.
“Patuloy po tayong magbayanihan at magmalasakit sa kapwa upang malampasan ang krisis na ito at makabalik na tayo sa normal na pamumuhay kung saan pwede na nating mayakap ang ating mga mahal sa buhay. Hindi po kayo pababayaan ng gobyernong ito,” Go assured.