In a brief press conference late Monday night, President Rodrigo Duterte offered a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel.
“You asked us to open and we agreed. There are protocols to be followed,” he said.
Later in the press briefing, he added: “Lalabas na 'yung modified quarantine. So we will allow sectors of society na hindi talaga nagdidikit-dikitan.”
Last Friday morning, his spokesperson Harry Roque announced that, after April 30, the existing enhanced community quarantine would be downgraded in select areas that are deemed to be of low to moderate risk for COVID-19. However, enhanced community quarantine would continue for NCR, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and other regions until May 15.
Today, Duterte affirmed that guidelines are being set up to transition into a more open, fluid lockdown.
He did not, however, offer exact details.
“Tayo we might open partially — construction workers and things like that,” he said.
He emphasized that any quarantine relaxation would only be a modified one. Duterte cited the example of the LRT’s rush hour crush pre-pandemic: “Kaya modified muna. Kasi kung mag siksikan kayo dyan sa LRT nanaman, wala ng katapusang ang problema natin.”
Earlier in the address, he said that it was the responsibility of private businesses to ensure their workers are safe. The chief executive expects these businesses to provide masks, “aside from sanitizing the place every now and then,” he said.
He added: “Not immaculately clean, but just sanitize it for COVID not to thrive [and] endangering your employees.”