Press Releases

Salceda statement on the declaration of ECQ

June 30th, 2021

The NCR mayors have made the recommendation given their own observations on the ground, so I will not venture to comment on their situation as if I know better than they do. But, what I will say is that we should only do ECQs as a last resort and only when it will work better than a combination of testing, tracing, treatment capacity expansion, and stronger minimum health standards.

In May this year, doctors’ groups were pressuring Albay to declare an ECQ due to a COVID-19 surge. I said, sorry, we cannot. Instead we expanded health care capacity seven times, vaccinated our most vulnerable, strengthened our anti-COVID protocols in workplaces, and distributed face masks to virtually everyone. That second wave is over, and we never had to declare ECQ.

ECQs only work when done early enough. It does not work not in response to a wave, because its impact is lagged. We’ll see its benefits only a month later, since we’re implementing it only week. So, I have second thoughts about whether it will work this time.

The best way to confront the Delta variant is really to vaccinate quickly. We may have to acquire Janssen instead of the two-dose brands, because this will no longer involve a window or lag time during which the virus could spread. We must introduce something I call “home immunity.” If your home or your workplace has already achieved 70% vaccination rate, you are probably safer. That’s faster to do with Janssen.

I’m sure Metro Manila can do it. They already have 30% first-dose vaccination rate and it’s growing by the day. In fact, I think other regions are in greater danger to Delta (such as Region VII) than NCR, given vaccination rates.

On where we will get Ayuda:

There’s no other recourse but a supplemental budget through Bayanihan 3. The economic managers were broaching the idea of a 173 billion package. We can live with that. The Senate majority appears willing to live with it as well.

Bayanihan 2 has already fully expired. There is very little if any room for interpretation in its validity provision.

The President also does not have unilateral power to realign from the national budget. So, under our existing budgets, we don’t have anything for ayuda.

Other Press Releases
Statement on the pronouncements against the Public Service Act amendments (RA 11659)
Read More
Statement on the February 2024 jobs report
Read More
Statement on the March 2024 inflation figures
Read More
The problem of access to Senior Citizen healthcare is structural, but it should be addressed alongside other issues with Senior Citizen welfare.
Read More