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Salceda: MGCQ more viable if all health workers vaccinated, public transport fully restored

Salceda: MGCQ more viable if all health workers vaccinated, public transport fully restored

MANILA, Philippines — For Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda, the proposal to declare the entire country under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) in a bid to help the economy bounce back will not have much impact if the majority of healthcare workers remain unvaccinated and public transportation is still limited.

“The impact of the shift to MGCQ will not be as large as quick vaccine rollout, because only [the National Capital Region’] NCR and a few provinces and cities are still in GCQ [general community quarantine],”  Salceda said in a statement.

“The vaccination for our healthcare workers must go hand-in-hand with the reopening, however. It will ensure that we have the healthcare human resource needed to address any spike due to loosened restrictions,” he added.

Salceda also said public transport is “essential” in the shift to MGCQ as “around 573,000 more workers may be required to go to their workplaces as part of the loosening of restrictions.”

“We should restore public transport supply. Enough rides are the best way to ensure that there will be no overcrowding in our transport systems. Enough supply is the best way to keep riders safe, in a systems perspective,” the lawmaker said.

He then cited that jeepney routes in Metro Manila have not been fully restored, while restrictions on tricycle operations are still in place.

“I do not want a partial restoration while we already have MGCQ. We need to increase public transport at the same time we shift to MGCQ. Otherwise, we will be making life very difficult and unsafe for many workers,” he said.

Salceda’s remarks come as National Economic Development Authority (Neda) acting chief Karl Kendrick Chua, in his presentation to President Rodrigo Duterte, pushed to relax the quarantine status of the entire country, stressing that such a move would allow industries previously prevented from operating by a strict lockdown to reopen thus, .

The Albay lawmaker has already previously said that placing the entire country under MGCQ will only bring “” effects unless the Covid-19 vaccination comes first.

Salceda has also pushed for “more aggressive” communication efforts to persuade the public to get vaccinated against the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19.

“This needs social marketing, probably by the example of our leadership. I’m alarmed by the hesitation of our people to get these vaccines,” Salceda said.

KGA

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